Painter, engraver and creator of artist's books

Jean-Luc Herman was born in 1936 in Theux (Belgium) and died in 2014 in Paris.

He studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Liège and later at the Ecole Estienne (Ecole du Livre) in Paris, where he settled in 1959 and entered as an artist in the collection "L'univers des formes", a collection directed by André Malraux for the publishing house Gallimard.

As early as 1965, he combined art and writing, creating etchings and original drawings for his first book, "Eight Poems on Nature" by Federico Garcia Lorca. From 1971 he devoted himself to painting, the graphic arts and the creation of books—often associating his work with original, unpublished writings. He designed these often very limited editions in tandem with the author, all of which are exemplary in their striking complicity, apparent even in the original bindings (wood, steel, glass, plexiglass, slate for the book-objects).

Herman made albums with the poets Jean Grosjean, Philippe Jaccottet, André du Bouchet and met the group of poets in Liège: Jacques Izoard, Vera Feyder, Michel Carpeau, Gaëtan Lodomez and François Jacqmin, with whom he developed close bonds, a friendship that quickly materialized in their collaborative construction in 1983 of the preeminent artist’s book "Elementaires". Other books followed: with Israel Eliraz, Joseph Guglielmi, Jacques Dupin and Yves Namur, among others.

In parallel to his work in publishing artist’s books, he pursued his own pictorial research, which led to more and more exhibitions. While in 1971, at the time of his first exhibition in Paris (at the Galerie de Beaune, directed by Suzanne de Coninck), his pastels are discreet evocations of landscapes, these references to nature gradually began to fade, and from the 1980s, Herman consistently explored the resources of the monochrome. He used, among other techniques, tempera, acrylic, washes (later frequently mounted on canvas) and ink. His pictorial creations gave rise to numerous exhibitions in France (Galerie Florence Arnaud), Belgium (Galerie Vokaer, Galerie Didier Devillez), Quebec, Washington, Switzerland and Norway; although he never left aside the possibilities offered by etching, lithography and screen printing.

In 1990, he made 23 serigraphy-poems, with Bernard Noël, Joseph Guglielmi, Jacques Izoard, Nicolas Cendo and Jacques Dupin, which were exhibited during the Poetry Festival of Trois-Rivières in Quebec. From 1996 all the way to 1998, Herman worked on a large album of 16 silkscreen prints to accompany 16 poetic texts (in Chinese, Russian, Hebrew, Inuit and Tifinar). The cased edition, presented by François Chapon, was shown at the MAMAC in Liège, at the Galerie Florence Arnaud in Paris and at the Art Gallery of Beaucaire.
In 1996, the Cabinet des Estampes de Liège received an important donation of paintings, prints and books (introduction to the catalogue by Claude Lorent), and hosted the exhibition Peintures-Poésie in 2009 (catalogue prefaced by Régine Rémon).

Passionate about his research on transparency in painting and animated by the desire to use paint to integrate and play with light, the artist opted for an indelible ink, using it to impregnate large panels of polyester fabric, much like banners intended to be hung freely or stretched on a wall. His banners invested the space of the Tour du Roi René in Marseille in 1995, the Médiathèque of Issy-les-Moulineaux in 2000, the House of Culture of Namur in 2001 (with Aurélie Nemours) and the church Sainte-Tréphine, part of the event “L’Art dans les Chapelles” (Art in Chapels) in Brittany in the summer of 2002 (text by François Chapon), then at the Saint-Pierre des Minimes church in Compiègne (with Anne Delfieu) in 2003, and in 2003-2004 the Espace Saint-Antoine at the Wallonia Museum in Liège. This event, entitled "Matières immatérielles” (Intangible Materials) brought together several artists who share a similar sensitivity.

Main exhibitions



























































Galerie Suzanne de Coninck, Paris, France

Galerie l'Angle Aigu, Brussels, Belgium

Galerie Jacques Davidson, Tours, France

Galerie La Nouvelle Etuve, Liège, Belgium

Galerie Michel Vokaer, Brussels, Belgium

"Rivages des Origines", Archives de la Ville, Marseille, France

Galerie Nadia Kamenev, Liège, Belgium

Deustsch-Französisches Kulturzentrum, Essen, Germany

Institut Français, Aachen, Germany

"Huit peintres et la lumière", Galerie Orphéa, Liège, Belgium

Centre Culturel français, Luxemburg, Luxemburg

Galerie Brownstone, Paris, France

Institut Français, Francfort, Germany

Présentation du livre "Les enfants Rouges" avec Jacques Dupin, Librairie Biffures, Paris, France

Le Refuge, Centre International de Poésie, Marseille, France

Galerie Marie Mamias, Paris, France

Librairie-Galerie l'Armitière, Rouen, France

La maison des Amis des Livres, Paris, France

Telemark Laererhogskole, Notodden, Norway

Maison Renaissance de l'Emulation, Liège, Belgium

Galerie Orphéa, Art Contemporain, Liège, Belgium

Tour du Roi René, Marseille, France

"Atelier 18" avec Jean Degottex, Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain, Liège, Belgium

Festival international de Poésie, Trois-Rivières, Canada

Présentation du livre"minéral vertical" avec Bernard Noël, Librairie Nicaise, Paris, France

Galerie Florence Arnaud, Paris, France

Bibliothèque Nationale du Québec, Montréal, Canada

Galerie K., Washington DC, USA

Cabinet des Estampes, Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain, Liège, Belgium

Galerie Florence Arnaud, Paris, France

Librairie Quartiers Latins, Brussels, Belgium

Galerie ITS ART IST, Brussels, Belgium

Galerie d'Art , Beaucaire, France

Librairie Mollat, Bordeaux, France

Galerie Florence Arnaud, Paris, France

Médiathèque, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

Maison de la Culture, Namur, Belgium

Galerie Faider, Brussels, Belgium

Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain, Liège, Belgium

Chapelle Sainte-Tréphine, "L’Art dans les Chapelles", Pontivy, France

"Dialogue - Livres d'artistes", Centre Culturel Les Chiroux, Liège, Belgium

"De l’œil à la main", Eglise Saint-André, Liège, Belgium

Avec Anne Delfieu, Eglise Saint-Pierre des Minimes, Compiègne, France

"Dodécachromie" avec Jean-Yves Bosseur, Galerie Florence Arnaud, Paris, France

Centre Culturel Les Chiroux, Liège, Belgium

Librairie Quartiers Latins, Brussels, Belgium

Présentation du livre "Un pas de plus et me voilà derrière moi", avec Israël Eliraz, Galerie Véronique Smagghe, Paris, France

Musée Royal de Mariemont, Morlanwelz, Belgium

Galerie Didier Devillez, Brussels, Belgium

Wégimont Culture, Galerie du Cinéma Churchill, Liège, Belgium

Avec Costa Lefkochir, ferme de la Fontaine, Thisnes, Belgium

"Peintures-Poésie", Cabinet des Estampes de la Ville de Liège, Belgium

Galerie de Wégimont, Domaine provincial, Liège, Belgium

Espace Saint-Antoine / Musée de la Vie Wallonne, "Matières immatérielles", Liège, Belgium

Rive Gauche, Galerie d'art contemporain, Namur, Belgium
Biennale internationale de la céramique de Châteauroux, France
Centre international de Poésie de Marseille, France

Public collections

Bibliothèque littéraire Jacques Doucet, Paris, France

Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, France

Musée des Beaux-Arts, Liège, Belgium

Bibliothèque Nationale Suisse, Bern, Switzerland

Cabinet des Estampes, Liège, Belgium

Ministère de la Culture Française de Belgique, Brussels, Belgium

Banque Nationale, Brussels, Belgium

Ministère de la Culture, CNAP, Paris, France

Musée d'Art moderne et d'Art contemporain, Liège, Belgium

Centre International de Poésie de Marseille, France


1996 et 1997












Cabinet des Estampes, Liège, Belgium

Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département de la Réserve des Livres rares, Paris, France

Musée d'art moderne et d'art contemporain, Cabinet des estampes, Liège, Belgium

Bibliothèque Ulysse Capitaine, Liège, Belgium

Affaires culturelles de la Province de Liège, secteur Arts plastiques, Belgium

Bibliothèque nationale de France, collections patrimoniales, département de la musique, Paris, France

Musée du dessin et de l'estampe originale, Gravelines, France

Bibliothèque littéraire Jacques Doucet, Paris, France

Musée Hôtel Bertrand, Châteauroux, France

CIPM Centre international de poésie Marseille, France

Musée du dessin et de l'estampe originale, Gravelines, France