Francks Francois Décéus continues to emerge as one of the important young painters of his generation. Born in Haiti, Décéus and his family moved to Brooklyn, New York when he was nine years old. It wasn’t until he graduated from Long Island University with a degree in Sociology that he turned to making art as a career.
Over a seventeen-year career, his work has marched chronologically from his childhood in Haiti, through his immersion into his new urban community as an immigrant, and recently, to his meditations on a conceptual vision of humanity. He has always been more interested in exploring themes and issues than in making definitive statements or creating a visual language with his art, and his work resonates with political and sociological content.
Stylistically his work incorporates many of the influences and aesthetic forms of the 40’s and 50’s visual artists like William Johnson and Jacob Lawrence, and reverberates with some of the artistic strains of his native Haiti. His modernist style combines figurative, abstract and layered elements and relies heavily on a simplification of form and function. His work is characterized by a semiotic economy, minimalist use of imagery and a deliberately limited palette range within series of work.
Francks Décéus was profiled in a 1998 issue of the International Review of African American Art as “one of the leading young modern painters of his generation, whose work depicts a high degree of sensitivity to social issues and his culture”. He is currently featured in “100 New York Painters”, an extensive survey of significant New York painters and their widely diverse works.
In 2004, Décéus was selected by curators at the Brooklyn Museum to participate in the exhibition “Open House: Working in Brooklyn”, an exhibition considered to be the largest survey ever devoted to contemporary Brooklyn -based artists. His work has been commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York. His work is in the permanent collection of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and Xavier University.
Décéus has studied printmaking at the venerated Bob Blackburn Printmaking workshop and in June of 2007 completed on a month-long printmaking residency in Gentilly, France. He was the recipient, in February 2008, of the Samella Lewis Award for Painting in the Hampton University Museum’s juried exhibition, “New Power Generation 2008”.
Dantzic, Cynthia Maris 100 New York Painters. New York, NY.: Schiffer Publishing, 2006.
Eli, Quinn (Editor) African-American Wisdom. Philadelphia, PA.: Courage Books, 2003
Magazine & Newspaper Articles
Lockhart, Leslie. "Haitian Refuge" Upscale (August 2004): 116-117.
Richardson, Alice. "For Deceus ‘Wheelbarrow People is a Recollection of his Childhood’" New York Amsterdam News (April 1997).
Shabkie. "5 Emerging Artists with Future Vision" New York Newsday (May 1997).
International Review of African American Art (Volume 14, Number 4): 60.
International Review of African American Art (Volume 17, Number 4): 63-64.