Chennai’s Art and Design Show: Harmonizing Modernism and Functionality



Slice of Midtown Manhattan Inspires Contemporary Art Exhibition in Royapettah

An art exhibition in Royapettah’s Folly at Amethyst draws inspiration from a slice of midtown Manhattan, specifically the famed Museum of Modern Art (MoMa). This exhibition, titled “Modernism +,” showcases a collection of functional art pieces, each with its own unique story.

The layout of the exhibition is sleek and almost fluid, allowing each piece to shine on its own. Visitors can admire a drink table that resembles a dolphin’s tail sprouting from the ground, paper cuts encased in glass, a standing fan with a bamboo base, and even a lounge chair reminiscent of Salvador Dali’s iconic melting clocks.

Curated by design firm Neon Attic, led by Rambha Sheth and Sripriya Ganesan, the exhibition is a collaboration with designers and artists from across India who share a common aesthetic. Rambha explains, “Through our projects, we started getting into the art world very seriously. We end up working with a lot of galleries across the country, and some that many might not have heard of. So we thought, why not bring them here.”

The exhibition has been six months in the making and features tastefully curated corners that capture the essence of Modernism. This art movement, which originated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, encourages experimentation in both form and ideology. Its diverse nature makes it difficult to define with a single aesthetic, and the exhibition embraces this diversity.

Rambha and Sripriya wanted to create an exhibition that reflects their own sense of home. They shared the theme with the artists, who customized their work to align with their personal narratives. They believe that the design dialogue in Chennai could be more vibrant, and this exhibition aims to contribute to that.

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The exhibition features an eclectic mix of designers and artists, including Vahe, Nama Home, Rhizome, Andblack, Length Breadth Height, Eitri, Java Homes, Rutva Joshi Design, Cultivate Art, 079 Stories, Shailesh Rajput, Harshita Jamthank, Arvind Sundar, Pradeep Ahirwar, Upasana Asrani, and Rewati Shahani.

Sripriya highlights the importance of the featured designers who are “truly making an India for the world.” These designers work closely with local Indian artisans to create their pieces, which greatly appealed to the curators.

When it comes to design aesthetics in the country, Sripriya acknowledges that being minimalist is a challenge for India. However, she emphasizes that contemporary design is thriving, and people are seeking clean, sleek, and practical aesthetics. Rambha adds that people are also drawn to the stories behind the artworks, looking for deeper meaning and connection.

The “Modernism +” exhibition will be on display at The Folly, Amethyst, starting on September 28. Visitors will have the opportunity to admire these stunning pieces of functional art that embody the intersection of art, design, and theory. Don’t miss a chance to immerse yourself in the aesthetic beauty and creativity that this display has to offer.



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