Julien Frydman Quits Paris Photo

Can his successor continue the fair's impressive growth?

Julien Frydman
Photo: Philippe Lévy

Julien Frydman, head of the French and Los Angeles-based art fair Paris Photo for the past four years, has announced that he will leave his post as director in late January 2015. The announcement comes just a month after the 18th edition of Paris Photo, and five months before the third edition of Paris Photo Los Angeles.

“The reason why I am leaving at this particular moment is because I’ve had a job offer,” Frydman told artnet News over the phone on Tuesday morning. “Paris Photo hosts a fair every six months, so it was always going to catch me in between fairs.”

Frydman added, “Paris Photo has become a fantastic success. It has really consolidated its position, and I look forward to making the best possible transition for the fair and the new team, so they can continue that expansion.”

Frydman’s could not divulge his new position, explaining that he has signed a non-disclosure agreement, but he did confirm that it’s an international post and that he will start his tenure in March 2015.

He also confirmed that the new gig would not see him running another art fair. “I won’t be working for Paris Photo competitor,” he said. “But you will have to wait until February and see,” who it will be.

A Successful Stint

Frydman’s four-year stint at Paris Photo has proven successful in opening up the fair to a wider spectrum of the art market. Over 55 percent of galleries that participated in the last edition of the fair were not specialized in photography. Those include blue-chip galleries such as David Zwirner and Gagosian. In 2010, only 10 percent of galleries participating in the fair were not specialized in photography.

Visitors to the fair have almost doubled during Frydman’s time at the helm, with 60,000 visitors having attended the Paris edition of the fair this year (see “Take a Sneak Peek at Riches of Paris Photo 2014”). Frydman is also responsible for launching Paris Photo Los Angeles in 2013. Staged in the iconic Paramount Picture Studios in Hollywood, the fair broadened its focus to include to moving image works.

Paris Photo has begun looking for Frydman’s successor. And Florence Bourgeois, former general director of the London and Paris editions of the art fair PAD, has already been tapped to join the team.

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