30th anniversary
Saatchi Store
School Visits


Ripper Tooth A-F (A/P)
James Capper
Ripper Teeth A-F (A/P)



Dimensions variable
Taking things out of context – recasting a functional object in a non-functioning capacity, let’s say – is a familiar trope of twentieth-century modernism that the work of James Capper both addresses and amends. Capper makes new objects that suggest existing ones (hydraulic pumps, cutting blades, ploughs), and by doing so generates a new creative function for that object: the making of marks on a surface. These, then, are drawing machines, their actions gouging or scraping new forms in a receiving material, and sculptural forms too, their forms abstracted, almost modernist. The Ripper Teeth act as locomotive elements attached to an existing machine: thrown out in front of it into deep or difficult terrain, they pull the machine along by dragging. The motions of the Teeth are recorded, both in the earth itself and, often, through video documentation, as components of a performance of sorts. That performative element brings up the organic allusions central to Capper’s work. These are, unmistakeably, claws, dinosaurian in their shape and implication of hugeness.
Nipper (long reach)
James Capper
Nipper (Long Reach)


Painted steel, hydraulics, plaster

130 x 32 x 80 cm/ Base: 130 x 40 x 100 cm
Nipper (Long Reach) is like a crab’s claw designed by an industrial engineer; both threatening and familiar, it parallels organic and mechanical movement in a mutually enlivening way. Capper’s works treat the mechanical as aesthetic. Their occupation of space is an active one, their traces – in soil, on stone, in air – the delicate and deliberate marks of a drawing hand.

Text by Ben Street

Other artists in
Artists in future exhibitions

Caroline Achaintre    Rebecca Ackroyd    Markus Amm    Helene Appel    Ivan Argote    Dan Attoe    Michael Bauer    Diann Bauer    Dan Bayles    Simon Bedwell    Anna Freeman Bentley    Emilia Bergmark    Katherine Bernhardt    Gabriele Beveridge    Richard Billingham    Gabriella Boyd    Sarah Braman    Matti Braun    Bozidar Brazda    Jonny Briggs    David Brooks    Joey Bryniarska    Agnieszka Brzezanska    Peter Linde Busk    Pierre Carreau    Loz Chalk    Ronin Cho    James Clarkson    Lucy Coggle    Andy Collins    Inez de Coo    Jessica Craig-Martin    Ana Cvorovic    Nathan Cash Davidson    Ian Davis    Nicholas Dedics    Tomory Dodge    Robert Dowling    Stef Driesen    Howard Dyke    Ara Dymond    Judith Eisler    David Ellis    Annabel Emson    Ayan Farah    Carlos Noronha Feio    Dee Ferris    Luc Fuller    Michael Fullerton    Dmitri Galitzine    Julia Goldman    NoĂ©mie Goudal    Elias Hansen    Hilary Harnischfeger    Chris Hawtin    Richard Höglund    Kati Heck    Valerie Hegarty    David Herbert    Patrick Hill    Dan Holdsworth    Phillipa Horan    Shara Hughes    David Humphrey    Elliot Hundley    Tom Hunter    Jessica Jackson Hutchins    Merlin James    Tillman Kaiser    Alice Könitz    Scott King    John Korner    Rannva Kunoy    Liane Lang    Molly Larkey    Paul Lee    Andrea Lehmann    Dale Lewis    Juliette Losq    Christina Mackie    Jill Mason    Claire McArdle    Ella McCartney    Lucy McKenzie    Jill McKnight    Martin McMurray    Turay Mederic    Robert Melee    Aleksandra Mir    Ian Monroe    Kristine Moran    Eduard Moreno    Yasumasa Morimura    Luisa Mota    Nick Nowicki    William J. O'Brien    Matt O'dell    Marco Palmieri    Selma Parlour    Oliver Perkins    Marius Pfannenstiel    Benedetto Pietromarchi    Alejandra Prieto    Arthur Prior    Laure Prouvost    Max Prus    Neil Raitt    Sean Raspet    Brian Reed    Florian Roithmayr    Ruth Root    Jessica Sanders    Stefan Sandner    Hideyuki Sawayanagi    Amba Sayal-Bennett    Lara Schnitger    Maaike Schoorel    Anne Kathrin Schuhmann    Michael Schultz    Macrae Semans    Conrad Shawcross    Jamie Shovlin    Agathe Snow    Renee So    Anne Speier    Jeni Spota    Martina Steckholzer    Jack Strange    Miriam Sweeney    Emma Talbot    Mateo Tannatt    Stephanie Taylor    Adam Thompson    Rafal Topolewski    Ryan Trecartin    Nobuko Tsuchiya    Marianne Vitale    Caroline Walker    John Wallbank    Ben Washington    Chuck Webster    Aaron Wexler    Poppy Whatmore    Julia Whiting    Jenny Wiener    Alexi Williams    Susanne M. Winterling    Saskia Olde Wolbers    Jonas Wood    Joel Wyllie     Yeesookyung    Haeri Yoo

James Capper's BIOGRAPHY

James Capper
Born in 1987, London, UK
Lives and works in London, UK


Ripper Teeth in Action, Modern Art, Oxford

The Long Way Round, Hannah Barry Gallery

James Capper, Wieden & Kennedy, London
Drawings for Machines, Hannah Barry Gallery, London


Let There Be Sculpture, New Art Centre, Roche Court, Wiltshire

The Oil Fields (with Rob Sherwood) Hannah Barry Gallery, London
Time Flies, Hannah Barry Gallery, London
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London
Bold Tendencies 3, London
The Peckham Pavilion, 53rd Venice Biennale, Venice
Jerwood Sculpture Prize, Jerwood Space, London

Bold Tendencies 2 , London