Assistant Professor Derrick Adams continues to celebrate moments of everyday Black life in an installation at the Museum of Modern Art.

Derrick Adams believes that Black people should be portrayed in all their complexity as they navigate their daily lives, especially during those sometimes fleeting everyday moments not often captured in art.

“What can I reveal that has not been shown? Black people—not entertaining, just being, living. Letting people deal with that as reality,” he says. It’s thoughts and questions like those that are at the center of his recent installation, The Modern Window: Derrick Adams, the latest in a series of site-specific installations by contemporary artists commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art and designed for the exterior window of The Modern restaurant on West 53rd Street.

Commissioned by MoMA to create an installation that “engages with the architecture” of the Modern’s ground-floor window, Adams has built on that mandate to balance the visual narrative of Black people. In the installation, he accomplishes this by capturing a moment in time when people in late-20th-century model cars drive by two billboards advertising classics of 1990s Black cinema, Set It Off and Juice.

“The joys of cruising in a car, of seeing and being seen, and of being in a world of one’s own making, however momentary, pulse through the works,” the museum’s description states. It is a moment in Black lives on an ordinary day.

Adams, who is deputy chair of the B.F.A. and co-deputy chair of the M.F.A. in Art programs, has received, among numerous accolades, a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency (2019) and a Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship (2018), and was inducted into the National Academy of Design in 2020. His most recent solo exhibitions include “Style Variations” (2021) at Salon 94 in New York City; “Buoyant” (2020) at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, New York; “Where I’m From” (2019) at The Gallery in Baltimore City Hall; “The Ins and Outs: Figures in the Urban Landscape” at Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago; “New Icons” at Mary Boone Gallery in New York; “People Person” at Galerie Anne de Villepoix in Paris; “Sanctuary” (2018) at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York; and “Transmission” (2018) at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver.

Adams joins other artists such as Korakrit Arunanondchai, Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir, Xaviera Simmons, Mickalene Thomas, Andrea Zittel, and Firelei Báez, who have enlivened the Modern’s window on East 53rd Street since 2008. His work will be on view until fall 2022.