Just one year after purchasing Photo London, Reed Expositions, which also organizes Paris Photo, has cancelled this year's London event. Reportedly a lack of dealer interest after last year's mediocre showing was the reason. At the same time it was abruptly announced by Reed that Valerie Fougeirol, Photo London and Paris Photo's manager, had "left the company." Her role was being assumed by Jean-Daniel Compain, managing director at Reed Expositions.
The original organizer, Daniel Newburg, was quoted by one source as saying, "Last year's Photo London was quite a different project from what my vision was for the event. I certainly had high hopes for the collaboration with Reed. I was very disappointed with the developments and how things worked out."
When I talked to Newburg late last month, he had also complained that he still had not been paid by Reed.
Reed had attempted to turn the show into a straight contemporary show, eliminating more than half of the dealers out of hand who did the show in the past, as well as putting off the many collectors who only came for the vintage selection. Positioning what was ostensively a contemp show outside of competitor Frieze's art fair week was also a serious strategic blunder. I have severe doubts that they will be able to put this Humpty Dumpty back together again.