Art Basel Cities Week

‘Hopscotch (Rayuela)’ Catalog

September 6 – 12, 2018

Gabriel Chaile

Diego (Retrato de Diego Núñez) / Diego (Portrait of Diego Núñez), 2018

Waterfront of La Boca


Diego (Retrato de Diego Núñez) / Diego (Portrait of Diego Núñez), 2018
Metal structure, bricks, adobe, and eggs
2.8 m x 2.6 m x 1.7 m

Close to his studio in La Boca, Gabriel Chaile has created a large-scale, biomorphic adobe sculpture that doubles as a giant clay oven. Drawing upon the artist’s interest in anthropology – seen through the use and reappropriation of colonial stereotypes of indigenous peoples, slaves, soldiers, and patriots in his practice – this work is the most recent in a series that transforms Pre-Columbian motifs into monumental works of contemporary art. This particular form is recognizable from Tucumán sculptures that honor the hundreds of indigenous people who were forced to work in the mines in the northern part of the country. Installed in a visible public location near the Transbordador Bridge, the work too becomes a meeting point for people coming and going, as the sculpture can be used to cook and as a fireplace. The work is named for a young local man who was killed in La Boca in 2012, and in its evocation of the communal ritual of food, seeks to bring the neighborhood together once again in remembrance and dialog.

Coordinator: Delfino Santiago
Artist assistants: Jeisson Rocha Hernández, Manuel Alejandro Rocha Hernández, Leandro Senra

This artwork has been realized with assistance from the Ministry of Ambient and Public Space of the City of Buenos Aires.

Related Events

  • Artist Talk  |  Sunday, September 9, coastal walk of La Boca, Avenida Don Pedro de Mendoza between Avenida Almirante Brown and Martín Rodríguez, 12pm-12:45pm 
  • Artist Activation  |  Sunday, September 9, coastal walk of La Boca, Avenida Don Pedro de Mendoza between Avenida Almirante Brown and Martín Rodríguez, 1pm-3pm
  • Artist Activation  |  Tuesday, September 11, coastal walk of La Boca, Avenida Don Pedro de Mendoza between Avenida Almirante Brown and Martín Rodríguez, 1pm-3pm 

Visitor Information

  • Waterfront of La Boca, Av. Don Pedro de Mendoza between Av. Almte. Brown and Martín Rodríguez 
  • Thursday, September 6, through Wednesday, September 12, 10am-6pm
  • Free entry, no ticket required
  • In La Boca, please stay on the main streets, stick to recommended routes and use licensed taxis to and from the neighborhood. We recommend visiting all artworks during daytime only. Avoid visiting the area after 6pm or exploring side streets.


Born 1985 in Tucumán, Argentina 
Lives and works in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Gabriel Chaile works with humble materials like adobe, eggs, and wood to create objects and installations that combine the ancient traditions of his indigenous origin with socially relevant topics of today. Hailing from northwest Argentina, Chaile studied plastic art at the Universidad Nacional de Tucumán. In 2009 he received a scholarship to carry out the Artists Program of the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires. Since 2015, he has been associated with La Verdi, an artists’ cooperative in the neighborhood of La Boca. Selected recent solo and group exhibitions include ‘El principio de la belleza está en el fin de la misma’ at the Centro Cultural Borges, Buenos Aires (2011); ‘Todas las cosas eran comunes’ at Galería Alberto Sendros, Buenos Aires (2012); ‘Salir del surco al labrar la tierra’ at the Fondo Nacional de las Artes, Buenos Aires (2014); ‘Hacer con lo hecho’ at the Museo de Arte Moderno, Cuenca (2015); ‘My Buenos Aires’ at La Maison Rouge, Paris (2015); ‘No es culpa mía si viene el río’, at the Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires (2015); the Bienal de Montevideo (2016); and ‘Patricia’ at the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires (2017).

The artist is represented by ChertLüdde, Berlin and Barro Galeria, Buenos Aires.