Samuel Leuenberger

Installation view, David Dale Gallery, Irmão dos homens todos, Mauro Cerqueira and Pedro Wirz (2016), Photo: Max Slaven

Samuel Leuenberger (*1974 in Basel) studied in Virginia and London, where he received a Masters of Art in post-war and contemporary art history at the Sotheby’s Institute. He has worked for Christie’s, Kunsthalle Zurich and More Gallery before founding the exhibition space SALTS in 2009. Leuenberger has been curating the Parcours Sector at Art Basel since 2015 and serves as a member of the commission of the Kunstkredit Basel-Stadt.
He is a welcome guest of various lectures and talks and has published articles and reviews in magazines such as CURA, Mousse and Kaleidoscope.
Recently, he curated the exhibition Quiet, which is on display at Galerie Barbara Seiler until 5th June. His exhibition space SALTS is currently showing the artists Melodie Mousset, Hanne Lippard and Emily Mae Smith & Adam Henry. Leuenberger will serve as co-salonnier at the Salone Suisse during the 57th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia.
In our interview he explains why art may profit from private ownership.

Installation view SALTS (Birsfelden): My History of Flow, Lena Henke, curated by Anna Goetz (2016) Photo: Gunnar Meier

SAA: What fosters art?

SL: Curiosity and hunger.

SAA: Who is supporting you and how?

SL: My parents, the artists I work with, the audience that comes regularly to see the shows I am organizing and an endless list of friends, who keep supporting me and my projects without asking for any renumeration. And of course new people, who invite me to work on something new, somewhere outside my own familiar environment, which I am most thankful for.

SAA: Does financial support expand creativity?

SL: No, but it can entertain bigger ideas.

SAA: Must art be sellable?

SL: Surely not, but the artist needs to sell in order to continue making his/her art visible.

SAA: Should art belong to the private or public?

SL: To both. The Kunstmuseum Basel is the best example, where a group of private collectors got together in order to display their collections publicly on a permanent level. Art doesn’t belong, but it usually finds nourishing ground in the private before it can expand into the public.

Parcours, Art Basel, Installation view, Hans Josephsohn. Photo: Gunnar Meier