Gabriel Chaile coaxes poetry from bricks and eggs

The Argentine artist talks about his indigenous roots, ‘necessity engineering’, and his upcoming presentation at Basel


Gabriel Chaile has made a name for himself as a sophisticated synthesist of ancient and modern traditions. The 34-year-old artist from Tucumán, in northwest Argentina, employs references ranging from Pre-Columbian cultures to Conceptualism in often-usable sculptures involving bricks, eggs, and other found objects.

For his contribution to Art Basel Cities Week in Buenos Aires in September 2018, Gabriel Chaile served empanadas from a clay portrait-sculpture that doubled as a wood-fired oven. The act was designed to bring the surrounding neighborhood together around the healing rituals of food.

At Barro’s booth in Art Basel's 2019 Statements sector, Chaile will continue his extension of sculpture into social practice, drawing inspiration from the olla popular, or community pot, and cooking for visitors to the show.

Gabriel Chaile is represented by Barro, Buenos Aires, and ChertLüdde, Berlin.