Organizers Scrap Paris Photo and FIAC’s Los Angeles Offshoots
Low sales and lack of interest caused the closure.
Two months before its opening date, the fourth edition of Paris Photo Los Angeles has been canceled due to a lack of sales, the event’s organizers, Reed Exhibitions, have announced. Reed also said that it is scrapping plans to bring its flagship art fair FIAC to the US West Coast.
“The absence of a mature market in terms of art fairs of this scale and scope has driven us to make this difficult decision,” Jean-Daniel Compain, senior vice president of culture luxury & leisure division at Reed Exhibitions France, said in a statement.
“Despite the abundance of collectors in Los Angeles and California that figure among the buyers regularly in attendance at international fairs, the level of sales during Paris Photo Los Angeles is not sufficient to support such a Fair and to offer our exhibitors the best conditions on return on their investment,” he said.
In 2015, FIAC caused confusion by abruptly postponing its inaugural LA edition to 2016. It was rumored that the fair did not generate sufficient interest from galleries. An official statement at the time said organizers chose to “modify the launch of its Los Angeles endeavor” in order to “satisfy the requirement level of the galleries.”
Compain stressed that despite the cancellation, Paris Photo and FIAC may still expand beyond Paris in the future. “We continue to explore other paths for the international development and expansion of our fairs.”
According to organizers, the Paris-based editions of Paris Photo and FIAC are unaffected by the cancellation of its West Coast offshoots and will take place as usual in November and October 2016, respectively.
The past months have been tough for Reed Exhibitions after the November 13 terror attacks in Paris forced the early closure of Paris Photo in 2015, and the subsequent expensive reimbursement of exhibitors’ fees.
The company’s decision to discontinue its expansion to the United States comes amid several predictions of a consolidation phase in the international art market in 2016 that has been reflected in lackluster February auction performances and slow sales at early art fairs such as Art Genéve, which took place at the end of January.
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