Vera Palme’s self-operating subjects

Vera Palme, Time Stamp Painting (1), 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Braunsfelder.

Last year, I curated an exhibition at Arthub in Copenhagen, which included a dozen of paintings by Vera Palme. One night, I had plans to take a friend out for dinner, but I wanted to show her the exhibition first. We spent a long time in front of SOS (1), 2020, a large canvas depicting what I happen to know is a jade green Chinese vase picked out of the catalogue of an auction house, but which, in this rendition and as suggested by the title, Palme has instilled with a sense of alarm. The vase struggles to maintain itself against the mud-coloured background; brush strokes are whirring in and around it as if in panic. My friend suddenly had to leave, she’d lost her appetite. The painting had done something to her, gone to her gut and settled there as a feeling of disquiet—in the best way, she assured me—asking questions that could not be answered over dinner.

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