The LISTE Interviews: Guillaume Sultana

One in a series of interviews with LISTE newcomers – in partnership with E. Gutzwiller & Cie, Banquiers

Guillaume Sultana. Photo: © Nicolas Kuttler Jesse Darling, Sphinxes of the Gate, 2018, steel, cast jesmonite, archival foam, packing foam, pet watering bottle, rubber tube, plinth, perspex case. Courtesy Sultana, Paris


LISTE first opened its doors in 1996 and since then has developed into a key art fair for new galleries. E.Gutzwiller & Cie, Banquiers has been a supporter from the beginning, and has been the main partner since 1997. The private bank, with its head office in Basel, was founded in 1886 by Carl Gutzwiller and is still owned and managed by the Gutzwiller family and their partners. ArtReview spoke to four galleries new to LISTE this year, or who first exhibited at the fair last year. Guillaume Sultana founded the Paris-based Sultana in 2010.Among the gallery's artists are Pia Camil, Celia Hempton and Paul Maheke.

What are you showing in Basel?

We will present two artists, Jesse Darling and Justin Fitzpatrick. Jesse Darling shows two sculptures from the artist's solo show at the Tate Britain this winter and new drawings. Justin Fitzpatrick is doing new paintings related to Jesse Darling's sculptures – this is a dialogue between the two artists.

Does the gallery have any particular philosophy or focus?

The programme is international with a particular focus on the young English scene and issues related to the body and identity – political or social issues that artists are talking about today. The artist works in all media, from painting to performance, sculpture or video.

How do you decide which art fairs to participate in?

Fairs are very important for the gallery's economy and therefore for the artists; we choose them with the artists according to geography and the artists' current exhibitions in museums or biennals.

How many art fairs do you do a year and how does that sit alongside the gallery programme?

We do four or five plus projects like Condo [the international gallery-exchange programme]. I consider the fairs an extension of the gallery's exhibition schedule. Sometimes the fairs are opportunities to present a group show with artists from the gallery, sometimes solo shows, sometimes a new artist is presented. It depends on the timing of the artists or the opportunities we have to present certain works.

Do you have to mediate the work differently for an audience away from home?

It depends on the artists or works presented. In the case of LISTE we are dealing with clients and visitors who already know a little about emerging art. It is not the same as in the gallery where the visitor might be more a novice. So we do not necessarily publish a text explaining the artists' work as we would at home.