Introductie Jef Verheyen: (in bewerking)

Jef Verheyen was een Belgische kunstschilder. Hij kreeg zijn opleiding aan de Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerpen BE. Hij Werkte vooral in …….. Lid van de groep …… Had ondermeer exposities in …….. Ontving de ……. prijs. Belangrijke werken worden gerekend tot het Abstracte Minimalisme (Geometrie). Bekende werken ………….. Beschouwd zichzelf als……


Jef Verheyen begon zijn schilderstudie in 1946 bij  Frans Ros in Lier BE. Hij vervolgde zijn studie in 1946 -1952 aan de Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerpen BE (tekenen, etsen, schilderen en toegepaste kunst). in 1951 ontvangt hij een beurs van de deelgemeente  Nijlen BE. Hij ontmoet aan de Academie Dani Francq (liefde op het eerste gezicht). Zij volgen de lessen samen. Van 1952-1954 volgde hij post-graduale studies (tekenen, keramiek, schilderen)aan het Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerpen?

In 1953 they spend three months in Vallauris FR making ceramic pieces—with Raoul Dauphin, Pablo Picasso and Fernand Léger—which are subsequently exhibited. They do the grape harvest in Provence, then travel to Spain.

Second Middelheim Biennial in 1953 Verheyen encounters the work of Lucio Fontana and Constant Brancusi: metal flowers (Fontana) and marble (Brancusi).

1954, With ceramicists Dani Francq, Marina Van Acker and Blanca Olmedo, Jef Verheyen sets up a studio/shop in Antwerp, opposite the Rubens House, an he calls it: l’Atelier 14.

1955,  Meets writer Ivo Michiels when a first article appears in the press (see the many articles and texts, including ‘Jef Verheyen , schilder, ook een verhaal’ [‘Jef Verheyen, painter, also a story’, published on 6 July 1972 in Bookmultiple Jef Verheyen “40.”

1955, First black monochromes, painting of which Verheyen defines as ‘Schwarz darstellen.’

1957, First white monochromes (on wood and canvas).

1957, Collaborates with Wim Van Gils (architect) on a wall painting for a hospital at Stavelot and installs fluorescent structures in the tunnel of the press pavilion at the World’s Fair in Brussels.

1957, In Lausanne, Verheyen’s manifesto, Essentialisme (Essentialism) is accepted for publication in art actuel international, issue 1959-13.

Having played an active role in founding the G-58 group in Antwerp (in the Spring of 1958) and having taken part in its first exhibitions, Verheyen tears away from the group after the opening of his first show at the Hessenhuis.

November 1958: first exhibition at the Hessenhuis. Lucio Fontana buys L’air est plein de ta chaleur (The Air is Full of Your Warmth) shown in that exhibition and in Milan and gives him what Verheyen describes as a ‘splendid black-green painting’. In a letter (November) from Italy: ‘I’m leaving G-58’.

Plans a major international exhibition with Guy Vandenbranden: they contact Piero Manzoni, Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, Günther Uecker, Engelbert Van Anderlecht, Jozef Peeters and several others to take part.
The exhibition (Vision in Motion, March-May 1959) is eventually held at the Hessenhuis, though Verheyen, Piero Manzoni and Lucio Fontana do not take part. Verheyen has his first encounter with Günther Uecker there (‘nailed balls’).

Verheyen meets the writer Guy Vaes and moves into a larger studio in his house in Lange Noordstraat.

– Works in Milan, where he organizes exhibitions with other Belgian artists (October, November, and mid-December 1958; see also Frank Philippi: photo report in Milan).

1958-1960,  – black paintings, gold, brown, silver, paintings with smoke, 1X1 = 1.
– travels through the Mediterranean: watercolours, works in ink.
1959,  Is in Milan (1 November to 18 January) working with Frank Philippi (photo report). In April he returns there and concludes exchange with Lucio Fontana (the red painting shown in the Hessenhuis).
Stays in Albisola Mare with Piero Manzoni (they travel together from Milan), Lucio Fontana, Pol Bury, Ivo Michiels and others.
– Panarea-series (paintings, ink drawings). Panarea is also the title of an essay on ‘the sole dimension’.
Fifth Middelheim Biennial. Includes work by Lucio Fontana, Roberto Crippa and Olivier Strebelle.
Co-founds the ‘Nieuwe Vlaamse School’ (‘New Flemish School’) with Engelbert Van Anderlecht and Paul De Vree (see the article by Johan Pas).
Meets Swiss gallery and hotel owner Hans Liechti in December, in Grenchen, Switzerland. Liechti offers Verheyen a contract, providing very welcome financial security and the beginning of a long friendship at the start of the sixties. Through Liechti, Verheyen makes other connections in Switzerland.
Verheyen rents a studio in Weert, a village on the River Scheldt, in a farm called Tempelierenhof which he first shares with Guy Mees for a short period. He spends the summer there, writing and painting.
1960, Publication of Pour une peinture non plastique (For a Non-plastic Painting) (Weert) 1959.
– Verheyen and Engelbert Van Anderlecht collaborate on a series of ten works, Ni l’un ni l’autre (Neither One Nor the Other) (26-29 August 1960; see Frank Philippi’s photo report)
– Goes to Düsseldorf, where he stays with Günther Uecker, and to Frankfurt, where he stays with Hermann Goepfert and Rochus Kowalek.

1961, Verheyen moves to Charlottelei and establishes his studio there. Paul De Vree and Verheyen collaborate on a project for an international exhibition in Ghent to which they invite a number of Zero artists.
1962,  – Verheyen and Lucio Fontana collaborate on two works, a triptych and Rêve de Möbius (Möbius’ Dream) at the villa of the collector Louis Bogaerts in Knokke, on the Belgian coast (see video with document and Karel Geirlandt interview, BRT, 3 December 1962; see also work with Hermann Goepfert and Lucio Fontana in 1963).
– Contributes work to the book project Das Weiße Buch (The White Book), as do Yves Klein, Lucio Fontana, Günther Uecker, Otto Piene, Heinz Mack, Christo, Walter Leblanc, etc.
– Günther Uecker works in Antwerp.
– Verheyen participates in almost every Zero exhibition and plays an important role as the contact person for the group and the artists in Belgium (collectors, gallery owners, etc.).

1962-63, – Works on several series: Sunbow Series, Rainbow Series, Lightbow Series, the ‘Four Elements’, Squares, the ‘Painting = tests’ series. Paints a number of canvases under the theme AB-BC.

1963, The journal De Tafelronde publishes Essentialisme at Paul De Vree’s suggestion.
– Verheyen works with Lucio Fontana and Hermann Goepfert in Frankfurt.1964,  Verheyen makes the film Essentieel (Essential) with Jos Pustjens, Paul De Vree and others (see flyer for the Berlin and Frankfurt showings).
– Project and plans for a wall painting for a school in Frankfurt and for the international exhibition in ‘’t Fortje’.
– Venetian paintings in exhibitions in Basel, Solothurn and Brussels.

1965, Travels extensively as he prepares exhibitions; collaborates with Hermann Goepfert, Lucio Fontana, Günther Uecker and Rotraut.
– Exhibitions in Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris, Geneva.

1966-1967, Initial contacts for a solo exhibition in Mullem.
Paints Lichtkathedralen (Light Cathedrals); his designs for sculptures take shape. In chrome-plated metal: ruimte / le vide et le plein (Space /Emptiness and Plenitude). The first prototype becomes a multiple.
Marcel Stal meets Jef Verheyen and puts him in touch with the Brussels art scene. This Francophone gallery owner shows Verheyen’s work on several occasions over the years. The painter shares the former soldier’s liking for horseback riding, refinement, and the pleasures of life.
1967, With Günther Uecker, Verheyen organizes the open-air exhibition/happening, Vlaamse landschappen, in Mullem (see report by Gerald Dauphin).
– Paints Aurora Pink and Le sens de la couleur (The Meaning of Colour).
– In November Verheyen travels to New York and Brazil, when he takes part in the São Paulo Biennial with Vic Gentils and Dan Van Severen. He is fascinated by South America.

1968, Lucio Fontana dies. Verheyen works on a tribute (see 1969 exhibition).
Travels with his wife and children to Andalusia, where he stays in the fishing village of La Rabita. He produces a series of watercolours and ink drawings in large and small formats. Preparation of the Farbsinn exhibition in Cologne.
1969,  – Paints Lichtstromen (Light Currents) and goes back to La Rabita, where he produces more watercolours.
Meets Gerhard and Anna Lenz: the beginning of an intimate friendship and a great art collection.
1969 – 1970, – Intensive preparation for the Belgian pavilion and for his participation in the Venice Biennial. There was considerable stress due to uncertainties about participation and funding. He was happy with the final result, however, according to Jean-Paul Laenen, who shared the pavilion with him.
1971 – 1973, – Paints Lichtpijlen (Light Arrows), and the laser paintings Eonen (Aeons), Continuité de la couleur (The Continuity of Colour), Hommage aan Monet (Homage to Monet).
A lot of travelling. Contact with former Eastern Bloc countries; exhibition in the Sztuki museum in Lodz, Poland. That summer, in search of some peace and quiet, Verheyen spends a month in De Panne, on the Belgian coast.
Travels to Düsseldorf (Günther Uecker), Frankfurt (Hermann Goepfert), Munich, to Austria (Gerard Lenz), to Schwäbisch-Gmund (Edith Wahlandt), and of course to Switzerland (Hans and Kathi Liechti).
– Joint exhibition with Albert Szukalski at the Casino in Knokke (1971).
Verheyen’s children Olaf and Steve live in Wallonia for a year, attending school there in preparation for the move to Provence.
In Belgium, Verheyen works with Paul Ibou (design), Frank Philippi (photos) and Ivo Michiels (text) on a publication intended to mark his 40th birthday, Bookmultiple Jef Verheyen “40”. During this period, he also has frequent and close contact with Axel and May Vervoordt, Antonio Giglio, Jack Von Hoerde, Marcel Stal, Claire Bataille and Pol Ibens.
With Axel Vervoordt, Verheyen and Dani Francq discover horseback riding; they ride together regularly. Horses will occupy an important place in Verheyen’s life at Les Talons. Verheyen and Dani Francq take walks through nature. He visits the Lipizzaner stud and later, in France, becomes friends with Pierre Delgado, a gifted horse-breeder and dressage trainer from the Vaucluse.
1974, Having bought a house in the Vaucluse in 1972, Verheyen starts to make arrangements for the move to France. In the summer, the Verheyen family (Jef, Dani, Léonore, Olaf and Steve) move to Provence.
Verheyen travels regularly between Antwerp and Provence, preparing an exhibition at Frigolet Abbey in the Vaucluse (1975). He becomes friends with its abbot, Father Gérard.
– Paints Lux-Lex and shows it at Axel Vervoordt’s and at the Carrefour Gallery in Brussels.
1975-1976-1977, – Paints the series Diagon, Spectachromie, Spectra Veneziana (large screen in muslin).
– Olaf goes to study in Italy and Verheyen makes several trips to Venice and to Carrara, where he works with the sculptor and photographer Dominique Stroobant (several works in granite and marble).
1978-1979, – Paints Urbino, L’espace Idéal (Urbino: Ideal Space) and Le Pic du Midi.
Plans for his retrospective exhibitions in the Paleis voor Schone Kunsten/Palais des Beaux Arts (Brussels) and the Musée Rath (Geneva) take shape; Verheyen moves his studio, swapping his place in Antwerp (Van Schoonbekestraat 60) for a studio and flat in the coach house of Ten Bosch Castle in Heist-op-den Berg (the home of Marcel and Lily Van Hool).
1980, – Works on Grand Œuvre and Megaron. Dani is diagnosed with cancer.
1981, – Publication of Millennium Éclair, a collaborative project between Verheyen, Guy Vaes (poems) and Frank Maes (design). There is a gala presentation of Millennium Éclair on the island of Torcello, in Venice. Publication of Grand Oeuvre: lithographs in greys  by Verheyen and texts in colour by Ivo Michiels (Erker, Sankt-Gallen)
1982,  – Presentation of Grand Œuvre in Antwerp: with an introduction by Julien Schoenaerts. Travels to Romania (with Günther Uecker, Gerhard Lenz and Karl Prantl), looking for traces of Brancusi. Works on Megaron, Dia-logos, and Diamant (Diamond). Meets Friedrich Dürrenmatt, who writes the introduction for Verheyen’s exhibition at the Erker Gallery in Sankt-Gallen.
– Works on the preparation for an exhibition at Janssen Pharmaceutica, in Beerse.
– Verheyen is commissioned to paint the official portrait of the Rector of Innsbruck University; the portrait is presented, together with an exhibition of his work, at the Claudiana in June 1983.
2 March 1984
In late February, Verheyen goes to Austria with his judo club. Shortly after his return, he suffers a fatal heart attack on the mat of the judo club in Apt, Vaucluse, France.
-Dani dies at home in Les Talons in september : she loses the fight with the illness.

In 1954 openen ze samen een keramiekatelier-winkel: L’atelier 14, tegenover het Rubenshuis in …… Vanaf 1956 namen ze met keramiek samen deel aan verscheidene tentoonstellingen en salons in België. Jef Verheyen schilderde meer en meer en reisde naar Italië (Milaan) waar hij P.Manzoni, R.Crippa en Lucio Fontana ontmoette.

Jef Verheyen was een van de medeoprichters van G-58.

Publiceert ‘Essentialisme’ en werkt in Antwerpen BE met o.a. P. De Vree en E. van Anderlecht aan de ‘Nieuwe Vlaamse School’.  Met E. van Anderlecht schildert hij een reeks van 10 schilderijen: Ni l’un ni l’autre.

Jef Verheyen was één van de eerste monochrome schilders van West-Europa: goud en zilver, bruin en grijs, later pasteltinten en vanaf 1957 witte monochromen.

Vanaf 1962 werkte Jef Verheyen mee aan alle belangrijke tentoonstellingen van de ZERO-groep. De ZERO-groep zich vooral wenste te concentreren op het belang van het licht. In de groep speelde Jef Verheyen een belangrijke rol als contactpersoon van de Duitse? groep en de kunstenaars in België.

In 1974 vestigde Jef Verheyen zich met zijn gezin in het zuiden van Frankrijk.

Er komen retrospectieve tentoonstellingen in Brussel BE : P.S.K. en Genève.

Begin jaren ’80 publiceert hij gravures met teksten van Ivo Michiels en Guy Vaes.

Jef Verheyen overleed na een hartaanval op de tatami in Apt op 2 maart 1984. 

Beschrijving werk:

Hij wilde niet met kleur schilderen, maar kleur en licht uitbeelden. ‘Je peins pour voir’ was zijn devies. Voor Jef Verheyen, die geboren was met een serieuze ophthalmologische handicap, een oogziekte, was schilderen de ultieme keuze om te zien en te zijn. Hij schilderde het licht om licht te brengen in zijn leven en om te ontsnappen aan de dagelijkse somberheid.

Jef Verheyens monochrome schilderijen zijn weinig tastbaar. Kleur, waartoe hij de betekenis van het schilderen heeft gereduceerd, is losgekoppeld van ruimte en tijd. Kleur is niets anders dan kleur. De leegte is de ruimte waar het essentiële zich ontvouwt, het wordt ‘vol-ledig’. In zijn studio leidt het opvangen van het licht en van energie tot contemplatie. Nadat  hij naar de provence is verhuisd, voelde hij zich bevrijd waardoor zijn pictorale reflecties op het licht verbreedden.

Naam: Jef Jozef Verheyen.
Geboren: 06.07.1932, Itegem  BE.
Overleden: 02.03.1984, Saint-Saturnin-lés-Apt FR.
Nationaliteit: Belgische.
Woon / werkplaatsen:

  • 1932 – ????, Itegem BE.
  • ???? – ????, Antwerpen BE.
  • 1974 – ????, Zuid Frankrijk.
  • ???? – 1984, Apt FR.


  • 1946, Studie schilderen, Frans Ros, Lier BE.
  • 1946 – 1952, Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerpen BE.
  • 1952 – 1954, Post-graduale studies (tekenen, keramiek, schilderen), Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerpen BE.


  •  1951, Beurs van deelgemeente  Nijlen BE.

Functies kunstwereld:
Actieve periode:

Telefoon: +31(0)

Kunstvormen: Schilderijen.

  • Abstract Minimalisme (Geometrie) | DE/US | 1955 – Heden | Tekeningen, Schilderijen, Sculpturen, Objecten.


  • ???? – ????, Studieperiode.
  • ???? – ????, …

Bekende werken:

  • Hulde aan Mondriaan.
  • Regendag.
  • Blauwe compositie.
  • ça -Y – Est.
  • La fléche de Zénon

Projecten / opdrachten:

  • 1957, Muurschildering ziekenhuis Stavelot met Wim Van Gils (architect).
  • 1957, Fluorescerende structuren paviljoen wereldtentoonstelling Brussel BE.



  • Englebert van Anderlecht | BE 1918 – 1961 BE | Schilderijen | Lyrisme, Abstract Expressionisme.
  • Pol Bury | BE 1922 – 2005 FR | Schilderijen, Sculpturen, etc | Abstract Divers.
  • Guy Vandenbranden | BE 1926 – 2014 BE | Schilderijen | Concretisme.
  • P.Manzoni.
  • R.Crippa.
  • Lucio Fontana.
  • P. De Vree.
  • Yves Klein.
  • Paul van Vlasselaer.

Leerling van en/of invloed van:
Leraar van en/of invloed op:


  • Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerpen BE.
  • Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Brussel BE.
  • Kunstmuseum aan Zee, PMMK, Oostende BE.
  • Museum voor Schone Kunsten Oostende BE.
  • Paleis voor Schone Kunsten, BOZAR, Brussel BE.
  • Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent BE.
  • Musée de l’Art wallon/ MAMAC, Luik BE
  • Musée D’Ixelles, Brussel BE.
  • Museum Schloss Morsbroich, Leverkusen DE.
  • Kunstmuseum Ehrenhof, Düsseldorf DE.
  • Jozef Albers Museum Quadrat, Bottrop DE.
  • Musée Rath, Genève CE.Kunstmuseum, Bern CE.
  • Kunstmuseum Sankt-Gallen, Sankt-Gallen CE.
  • Muzeum Sztuki w Łodzi Polen.
  • Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, Brazilië.


  • Bibliotheca Nazionale, Milaan IT.

Private collecties:

  • Sammlung Universität, Bochum DE.
  • Fondazione Boschi-Di Stefano, Milaan IT.
  • Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milaan IT.

Galerie collecties:

Exposities: (Solo / Duo / Groep / ?)

  • 2003, Gelijk het leven is.
  • 1979, De jaren ’60 – Kunst in België.

Eigen publicaties:

  • 1958, Essentialisme, Lausanne.
  • 1960, Pour une peinture non plastique, Weert, 1959.
  • 1972, Bookmultipel 40, tekst van I. Michiels, foto’s van F. Philippi.
  • 1979, Weerspiegelingen, inleiding I. Michiels, tekst en litho’s J.V.
  • 1980, Le pic du Midi.
  • 1981, Le Millénium Eclair, met tekst van G. Vaes.
  • ????, Grand oeuvre, met tekst van I. Michiels.
  • 1982: Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Uber Jef Verheyen, Eine Rede, met tekst van F.Dürrenmatt.


  • 1994, Retrospectieve JEF VERHEYEN,J.Verheyen, W.Van den Bussche, G. Vaes, I. Michiels & L.Verheyen e.a., tentoonstellingscatalogus PMMK , Stichting Kunstboek, Oostende BE.1997, ZERO und Paris 1960. Und heute, tentoonstellingscatalogus Villa Merkel, R.Damsch-Wiehager, Esslingen / Nice, Cantz Verlag.
  • 2002, Dieter Schwarz, Antwerpen/Bruxelles’60 Bram Bogart Engelbert Van Anderlecht Jef Verheyen, tentoonstellingscatalogus Kunstmuseum, Winterthur, Richter Verlag, Düsseldorf, 2002.
  • 2004, LUX EST LEX, tentoonstellingscatalogus Axel Vervoordt Kanaal, teksten van Jef Verheyen, Jan Hoet, Freddy De Vree, uitgegeven door Axel Vervoordt, Wijnegem BE.
  • 2006, ZERO, Internationale Künstler Avantgarde, tentoonstellingscatalogus Museum Kunstpalast and Cantz, met essays van Jean-Hubert Martin, Valerie Hilling, Catherine Millet & Mattijs Visser, Düsseldorf/Ostfildern DE.
  • 2007, Artempo, Where Time Becomes Art, tentoonstellingscatalogus uitgegeven door Musei Civici Veneziani, teksten van Jean-Hubert Martin, Heinz Norbert Jocks, Massimo Cacciari, Giandomenico Romanelli en Mattijs Visser, MER Paper Kunsthalle, Gent BE.
  • 2008, ZERO in NY, tentoonstellingscatalogus samengesteld door Mattijs Visser, uitgegeven door ZERO foundation & Sperone Westwater, New York /Düsseldorf /Gent.
  • 2008, ACADEMIA, Qui es-tu?, tentoonstellingscatalogus, La chapelle de l’Ecole des beaux-arts de Paris, Axel Vervoordt & MER Paper Kunsthalle, Gent BE.


  • 1991, ZERO,  Eine Avantgarde der sechziger Jahre,  Anette Kuhn, Propyläen, Frankfurt am Main / Berlin DE.
  • 2006, museum kunst palast (Hrsg.): ZERO – Internationale Künstler-Avantgarde der 50er/60er Jahre. Met bijdragen van Bazon Brock, Tiziana Caianiello, Heinz-Norbert Jocks, Catherine Millet, Lóránd Hegyi, Valerie L. Hillings, Heike van den Valentyn, Atsuo Yamamoto, Mattijs Visser. Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern DE.
  • 2009, Anna Lenz: Epoche Zero: Sammlung Lenz Schönberg. Leben in Kunst. Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern.
  • 2009, IN-FINITUM, tentoonstellingscatalogus Palazzo Fortuny, uitgegeven door Musei Civici di Venezia & Vervoordt Foundation & MER Paper Kunsthalle, Venezia /Gent.

Radio / televisie:
Video / film:

Eigen citaten:

  • 1959, “Decreasing light is increasing darkness. Increasing light is decreasing darkness”.
  • ????, “My life has been a permanent dialogue with light; actually a rather nice title for a book”.


Bronnen: Zie publicaties en websites.
Copyright: Stichting Pictoright, Amsterdam NL.
Privacy: N.v.t.
Bijgewerkt: 09012015/06022016/04072018.

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