Tag Archives: James Scott

James Scott’s Tribute to Claes Oldenburg

Summer is for slowing down and making time for things both old and new…

It was with much sadness that I heard about the passing of Claes Oldenburg last week. Many summers ago I filmed my dual screen film, The Great Ice Cream Robbery, which documents Oldenburg’s installation of his solo retrospective at the Tate in 1970. Using the complex interplay between the two screens, the film shows the juxtaposition of an artist who is both playful and hard at work.

To mark Oldenburg’s passing, I am making the dual screen version of the film available for viewing until August 2nd.

Watch the film here: https://vimeopro.com/user3582856/tribute-to-claes-oldenburg

While temperatures heat up outside, I am trying to stay cool by sitting in a dark editing room and working diligently to complete my new film Elements of a Journey: Antoni Tàpies, a documentary about the life of Catalan artist Antoni Tàpies. Here is a link to the trailer: https://vimeo.com/674640431

This film was started in 1974, just a couple years after completing The Great Ice Cream Robbery, making my current film both something old and something new.

While I am in the final phases of the film, we are still in need of raising more completion funds to cover the cost of all the rich and wonderful archival materials.

Any leads on finishing funds are greatly appreciated! Feel free to reach out to me at scottart@roadrunner.com. Those who have worked on large scale projects know, the fundraising is not complete even after the final touches are put on a project.

View James Scott’s film.

View on AnitaRogersGallery.com

Tribute to Chris Finch: James Scott’s Films

As a tribute to the passing of Chris Finch, my films “Richard Hamilton” and “RB Kitaj”, which we worked on together, are available for viewing on Vimeo. 

Click Here to Stream the Films

I first met Chris Finch in the sixties in London. I had just made the first in a series of films on contemporary artists, a film on David Hockney, and had been commissioned to make another for the Arts Council. This was to be a film on RB Kitaj and I approached Chris to appear in the film and talk to Kitaj. A year later, I began another project on Richard Hamilton, known as the father of ‘pop art’. Again, I approached Chris and he agreed to participate, even though Hamilton’s first words were: “I don’t like films about artists.” So we began by taking a Nagra recorder and sat down with Richard Hamilton to make a series of interviews that became an integral part of the film.

Chris became a friend, but sadly I lost touch with him when he left England for a teaching job in America. Many years later, after I myself had come to live in Los Angeles, we re-united. His passing is a blow to the art world as well as family and friends. His brand of eclecticism was unique. His humour and talent in so many fields unrivaled. I am streaming the two films, RB Kitaj (1967) and Richard Hamilton (1969) for a week as a tribute to Chris.

– James Scott

Pictured above: James Scott, Still from the film Richard Hamilton (1969)

View James Scott’s Films

View on AnitaRogersGallery.com

James Scott Films Streaming This Summer

James Scott Films Streaming This Summer

James Scott’s Summer Streaming continues with the following schedule:

July 6 – 12: The Great Ice Cream Robbery (1971) 40 mins
July 13 – 19: Coilin and Platonida (1976)  80 mins
July 20 – 26: Nightcleaners (1975) 90 mins
July 27 – August 2: ’36 to ’77  (1978) 85 mins
August 3 – 9: Fragments (2019) 43 mins

To view any of the films in the summer’s rotating schedule, go to https://vimeo.com/404435215/27ac239848.

In The Great Ice Cream Robbery (1971), which was proposed to the Arts Council as a two-screen film, the idea was to mirror the language and philosophy of Oldenburg towards temporality and ephemerality in the nature of the work: happenings, soft materials, impermanence. With two 16mm projectors and separate sound systems, its form of presentation would insure the potential of change every time the film was shown. Sadly, it meant that over the years, the film was rarely screened except by risk-averse and totally dedicated curators. Now for the first time in the digital age, it is actually possible to see this as a two-screen presentation as close as possible to how it was originally intended to be seen. We suggest using headphones or a stereo sound system for viewing.

As we were editing The Great Ice Cream Robbery, I also started to work with my friend Marc Karlin on a political documentary about janitors (mostly immigrant women of colour and Irish women) who worked through the night, cleaning office buildings. Little did we realize that we had embarked on a five-year project. We were joined by Humphry Trevelyan and Mary Kelly and called ourselves the Berwick Street Film Collective. Nightcleaners came out in 1975 at the Edinburgh Film Festival.

After the intensity of Nightcleaners, I wanted to move to a completely different kind of film and in 1975 began Coilin and Platonida for German television. This was to be a silent narrative film set in a remote part of Ireland at the turn of the century and based on a Russian short story by Leskov. I had come across the story in Walter Benjamin’s essay on storytelling. This essay very much influenced my filmic approach using 8mm refilmed to 16mm. I found local non-professionals to play the parts as well as using my two young children.

Upon completing Coilin and Platonida, Marc drew me back once more into the Nightcleaners story.  It had been a struggle without an end. The victory strike at the Ministry of Defense had come too late to be included in ‘Part 1’ and so the new film, ‘36 to ‘77 (1978) was to take this victory, and through the eyes of Myrtle, one of the janitors, look back on the campaign and reflect on how it had changed her life.

We end up with my last film Fragments, which in some ways connects to the first art film with David Hockney, Love’s PresentationFragments is a film about the painter Derek Boshier preparing for a new exhibition. Both Love’s Presentation and Fragments are films about process, but separated by over 50 years. Derek and David first met at the Royal College of Art and remain friends to this day. Both started as ‘pop’ artists and then followed very different trajectories.

Fragments was completed at the end of last year and premiered in January 2020 at the Rotterdam International Film Festival.

– James Scott

James Scott’s Latest Art Documentary ‘Fragments’ Premieres at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam

Thanks to his curiosity – and perhaps unwillingness to fit into any category invented to classify filmmakers – director/artist James Scott was able to create one of modern cinema’s most perplexing oeuvres. In the second half of the 1960s he came to some prominence with a series of unconventional art documentaries, including Love’s Presentation (1966) on David Hockney. In 1970 he co-founded the Berwick Street Film Collective, a legend in radical political cinema, from which he successfully moved towards narrative fiction features, shorts and television; and then into silence.

He re-emerges with Fragments, which returns him to his roots: an intimate portrait of British pop artist/filmmaker Derek Boshier, shot on an iPhone in his studio in California. Boshier, once commissioned by David Bowie, reflects on his life and creative practice while working on a giant drawing, ‘World News’, and a series of paintings titled ‘Night and Snow’.

Derek Boshier in his California studio.

Read Synopsis

Watch Trailer 

ArtForum Review: David Hockney and James Scott

David Hockney and James Scott


By Sasha Frere-Jones

Anita Rogers with filmmaker James Scott on the night of the opening reception. Image by Jon-Paul Rodriguez

Sasha Frere-Jones reviewed the gallery’s recent exhibition, David Hockney and James Scott, in the October issue of ARTFORUM:

In 1966, only four years out of the Royal College of Art in London, David Hockney was already a star. James Scott, a contemporary of Hockney’s, had received acclaim for short films he’d made with actors such as Drewe Henley and Anthony Hopkins. Scott wanted to make a documentary, something with an artist, so he asked Hockney, who agreed. Scott’s twenty-seven-minute film, Love’s Presentation, 1966, was the centerpiece of this exhibition at the Anita Rogers Gallery; the show also featured Hockney’s “Illustrations for Fourteen Poems from C. P. Cavafy,” 1966, the etchings at the core of Scott’s film.

In the film’s opening sequence, Hockney is shown front, back, and in profile: a mug shot in motion. In a voice-over, an unknown man reads a text by the critic Jasia Reichardt: “Talented painter, superb draftsman, astringent humorist, and entertaining raconteur, as much space in the press has been devoted to his clothes, hair, habits and accent as to his work.” Reichardt defines Hockney’s practice as “grasping in pictorial terms the essence of the grotesque in contemporary life.” The British Council apparently couldn’t handle Scott’s vision of contemporary (i.e., homosexual) life, and asked him to remove the footage of Hockney wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with the number 69 and the work’s final section, in which the artist reads three Cavafy poems over shots of his etchings. Anita Rogers could handle it, and offered the original, uncensored version.

Read more on ArtForum.


ArtForum highlights the Hockney/Scott Exhibition in its “Must See” List


James Scott, David Hockney

Films by James Scott, Etchings by David Hockney
June 19 – July 27, 2019
Reception: Wednesday, June 19th, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
David Hockney’s series, Illustrations for Fourteen Poems from C.P. Cavafy with screenings of James Scott’s Love’s Presentation (1966).


15 Greene Street Ground Floor, anitarogersgallery.com

Mon – Sat 10am to 6pm

James Scott’s Love’s Presentation at the Metrograph

Love’s Presentation finds the artist at work on his series of etchings, illustrating the homoerotic poetry of the Egyptian writer C.P. Cavafy; David Hockney’s Diaries offers a guided tour through three years of Hockey’s photo diaries, revealing both the inner workings of his compositional approach and portents of projects to come; while Portrait of David Hockney invites the viewer into Hockney’s home and studio, so to better understand the peculiar qualities of light that he seeks to distill in his work.”

These screenings will play as part of the Metrograph’s larger celebration of its new 4K restoration of A Bigger Splash, the 1974 documentary from director Jack Hazan.

For more information and showtimes, visit anitarogersgallery.com

Anita Rogers Gallery Highlighted in Tribeca Citizen

Anita Rogers Gallery Takes Part in Tribeca Art + Culture NightThe 11th edition of Tribeca Art + Culture Night is here!
June 18, 2019

Tribeca Art+Culture Night kicks off the summer with its 11th edition tour of neighborhood arts spaces on June 20 from 6 to 9.

The program includes exhibitions, performances, curator-led tours, walkthroughs, talks and workshops, and the event spotlights contemporary art, design, fashion, dance, music and crafts, as well as popular and less well-known locations in Tribeca (including spaces typically closed to the public). At each venue, attendees can interact directly with directors, curators and artists, who are present all evening to introduce their work.

Some highlights:

-150 rarely seen drawings by Leipzig school artist Neo Rauchfeatured in the first ever US exhibition devoted to his works on paper (The Drawing Center)

-David Hockney’s C.P. Cavafy-inspired etchings and screening of his creative process in the film “Love’s Presentation” by James Scott (Anita Rogers Gallery)

Read more on anitarogersgallery.com

Warburg Realty Features Anita Rogers Gallery

The SoHo Gallery Scene

April 12th, 2019

Though many of SoHo’s art galleries have been replaced with shops during the past two decades, the neighborhood still has plenty to peruse, from multimedia installations to Photorealism masterworks, from graffiti art to rock-and-roll photography.

Figurative and abstract artists from the 20th and 21st centuries—emerging, midlevel, and posthumous—are the focus of Anita Rogers Gallery. “When Love Comes to Town,” an exhibit of recent drawings and paintings by abstract artist George Negroponte, runs through April 27. Beginning June 19 is a selection of films by artist/director James Scott, whose “A Shocking Accident” won the 1982 Oscar for Best Live-Action Short Film; works and recorded readings by David Hockney will complement the films. Solo shows featuring Morgan O’Hara, Robert Szot, and William Scott are also scheduled for later in 2019.

Anita Rogers Gallery_edited

Works and recorded readings by David Hockney will complement screenings of James Scott films at an upcoming show at Anita Rogers Gallery. Image: Fresh on the Net/Flickr


Visit anitarogersgallery.com for more information.