Selected works by James Capper

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



Dimensions variable

James Capper’s art adopts the techniques, materials and complex problem-solving processes of innovation and engineering to develop the possibilities of sculpture. 

His sculptural language evolves along different modular chains termed ‘Divisions’. Each work can be understood as a prototype and therefore each sculpture produces questions that the next work attempts to answer, so that over time each Division produces its own clear iconography and application in action. 

Beginning with drawings of all kinds, James Capper makes mobile sculpture to be used in action in a wide range of materials or terrains. The works are sculpture, and sculptural tools in or ready for action. 

The works vary in size, from handheld Power Tools in the Carving Division through larger scale works sitting in the Earth-marking or Material Handling Divisions, to Offshore Division works envisaged for use on the water or Aviation Division flying works. 

Therefore the work consists of three distinct but interrelated processes – drawing, making sculpture and the capacities and application of the sculpture in action understood and developed through testing, filming and subsequent demonstrations. 

To consider his vision in short: traditional frames of sculptural reference are radically revisited, and if real-time technological advances in heavy industry fall behind or advance ahead, James’ own arrangement of ergonomics, hydraulics and aesthetics, allows the works to exist autonomously. 

Following his studies at Chelsea College of Art and the Royal College of Art, James Capper’s work has been widely exhibited around the world in museums and not for profit institutions, as well as commercial gallery spaces in London, New York and across Europe. He was the youngest ever artist to be awarded the prestigious Jack Goldhill Prize for Sculpture from the Royal Academy of Arts, London. His work is the subject of critical debate and dialogue about positions in sculpture in the 21st Century and continues to challenge varied audiences everywhere it is shown. 

James Capper
Nipper (Long Reach)


Painted steel, hydraulics, plaster

130 x 32 x 80 cm/ Base: 130 x 40 x 100 cm

The sculpture Nipper Long Reach represents an elaboration of a sculptural language audiences first had sight of in the Hydraulic Power Tool sculptures James Capper made for the group show Fabricators at Hannah Barry Gallery in 2010, and which he pursued again in a second display of work in this “Division” for the Armory Show in New York (2012). Nipper Long Reach established the founding elements of a substantial family of sculpture defined by its distinct double “jaw” drawn soon after in 2012. The titles and forms of more recent sculptures in this group shown in the exhibition Tools Of The Trade, also at Hannah Barry Gallery (2015), were inspired by the living world of reptiles, insects and birds. However considered in action their hydraulically controlled “teeth” - a term we now happily associate with James’ sculpture - demonstrate cutting and rapid fracturing capacities that seem entirely at the service of an industrial application.

James Capper's Biography

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


HYDRA STEP & HYDRA SHUFFLE II, James Capper with Katzki, Broken Hill Regional Arts Centre, New South Wales, Australia (solo) (forthcoming)
James Capper, Casa Wabi Artist Residency, Oaxaca, Mexico (solo) (forthcoming)
Contemporary Sculpture Fulmer, Berkshire, UK, (forthcoming)
JAMES CAPPER, Albion Barn, Little Milton, Oxford, UK (solo) (forthcoming)
SCULPTURE IN PUBLIC, WBG London Project, Woodwork Studios, London (forthcoming)
Through the looking glass, curated by James Putnam, The Mile End Art Pavilion, London
Drawing Biennial 2017, Drawing Room, London
James Capper SCULPTURE & HYDRAULICS, The Edge Institute of Contemporary
Interdisciplinary Arts, University of Bath, Bath (solo)

Faith & Fathom, Galleria Poggiali, Florence, Italy
MOUNTAINEER, Wassaic Artist Residency, Amenia, Dutchess County, New York
Sculptor’s Drawings, Alma Zevi, Venice
EARTH MARKING EXPEDITION– Mobile Sculpture, Component Parts, Hannah Barry Gallery, London (solo)
James Capper, Art in Romney Marsh, Kent, UK
PORTA CARVE, Vigo Gallery, London (solo)
Summer Sculpture Show, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York
CONTINUUM, Vigo, London
#32 Annual open exhibition, CGPLONDON/ Dilston Grove, Southwark Park, London
ATLAS A SPOLETO! / TELESTEP A SPOLETO!, Anna Mahler Association project for the Mahler & LeWitt Studios & Festival dei Due Mondi, Spoleto, Italy
The Imitation Game, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester (publication)
What we all lack, Hannah Barry Gallery, London

MOUNTAINEER PROTOTYPE, Art Basel Miami Beach Public Sector, Collins Park
PROTOTYPES, CGP LONDON / Dilston Grove, Southwark Park, London (solo)
Sculpture in the Close, Jesus College, Cambridge, UK
HYDRA STEP / HYDRA SHUFFLE, Underbelly Arts Festival, Cockatoo Island, Sydney, Australia
The Mechanical Corps, On the trail of Jules Verne, HMKV Dortmund, Germany
GREENHORN, Cass Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood, UK (commission)
FIRE SALE, curated by Shaun McDowell, Dynamite Projects, Surrey
Poppositions curated by Alain Servais, Brussels, Belgium
Doppelgänger curated by Juan Bolivar and Richard Bateman, no format, London
Drawing Biennial 2015, Drawing Room, London
HYDRAULIC SCULPTURES, Cass Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood, UK (solo)
Access Through Tools design festival, London College of Communication
SIX STEP, Rio dell’Orso, Venice, Italy (commission)
WORK, Elika Gallery, Athens
MOUNTAINEER, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York (solo)
Tools of the Trade, Hannah Barry Gallery, London (solo)

A Strong Affinity, Hannah Barry Gallery, London
STEP/SHUFFLE, Art Basel Hong Kong
Canalology, from Markfield Park, N15 4RB, along the canal path to Stonebridge Lock, Tottenham
The Mechanical Corps, On the trail of Jules Verne, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (publication)

Art Britannia, Art Basel Miami Week, Miami
PeckhamNewYorkParis, Mad Agency, Galerie 104 Kleber, Paris for fiac
Open Heart Surgery, The Moving Museum, London (publication)
James Capper, Kirkaldy Testing Museum, London (solo)
Peckham Takeover, V&A Museum, London (publication)
A Change of Heart, Richard Attenborough Centre, Leicester University, Leicester (publication)
ArtAngel Open 100, UK (online)
PeckhamNewYorkParis, Shoot the Lobster/Martos Gallery, New York
JAMES CAPPER: DIVISIONS, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Yorkshire (solo)

OFFSHORE, Tim Sheward Projects, London (solo)
20/12 London Art Now, National Trust, Lodge Park, Cheltenham, UK
Y E S Young English Sculptors, Fundaziun Not Vital, Ardez, Switzerland (catalogue)
Pertaining to things natural, Chelsea Physic Garden, London
London Twelve, City Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic (catalogue)
This is London, Shizaru Gallery, London
FABRICATORS, Hannah Barry Gallery, London (curator)

FLEET, Hannah Barry Gallery, London (solo)
RIPPER TEETH IN ACTION, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, UK (solo, publication)
Bold Tendencies 5, Peckham, London
TREADPAD – PAIR 1, London Art Fair Projects (solo)
TECTONIC, The Moving Museum, Dubai (publication)
HYDRAULIC POWER TOOLS, The Armory Show, New York
New Order: British Art Today, The Saatchi Collection, London (publication)
A Skeleton in the Closet, Heidelberger Kunstverein-Ausser Haus, Heildelberg
A Skeleton in the Closet, ReMap3, Athens

Let There Be Sculpture!, New Art Centre, Roche Court, Wiltshire
THE LONG WAY ROUND, James Capper Drawings & Hand Tools, Hannah Barry Gallery, London (solo)

The Oil Fields (with Rob Sherwood), Hannah Barry Gallery, London
Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London
Jerwood Sculpture Prize, Jerwood Space, London
RIPPER, Cass Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood, UK
SEA LIGHT, Drift 10, River Thames, London

Drawings for Machines, Hannah Barry Gallery, London (solo, publication)

78 Lyndhurst Way Exhibitions Project: Colour and Line, London
78 Lyndhurst Way Exhibitions Project: Monumental Painting, Sculpture and Film, London
78 Lyndhurst Way Exhibitions Project: Bold Tendencies, London (publication)

78 Lyndhurst Way Exhibitions Project: 10 Rooms & a Sculpture Garden, London


Paul Hamlyn Visual Arts Awards (nominated)
South Bank Sky Arts Awards The Times Breakthrough Award (nominated)

ArtAngel Open 100, UK (shortlisted)

Royal Society of British Sculptors Bursary Award

The Jack Goldhill Prize for Sculpture, Royal Academy of Arts
Jerwood Sculpture Prize (shortlisted)