Philippe Vandenberg, Exil de peintre, Ergo Pers, Ghent

Exil de peintre, an artists' book with 64 etchings and a text by Belgian artist Philippe Vandenberg.

During one year, Philippe Vandenberg (°1952, Ghent) worked on this series of etchings, which, together with a simultaneously produced text, were bound into a book. The etchings were produced from December 2002 to November 2003. Techniques used include softground etching, hardground etching, whiteground aquatint, sugar lift aquatint and others.
The contact with graphic techniques gave a new direction to his work. Motifs such as 'crucifixion' and the existential questioning of the place of man and the artist in this world are still prominent, but the visual language has become less tormented, more purified and refined. The anecdotal in his earlier work has now given way to configurations of purely abstract line work, with references to Louise Bourgeois, Jürgen Partenheimer, Barnett Newman and others.
The etchings were produced from December 2002 to November 2003 in Henri Hemelsoet's studio. Rein Ergo was responsible for the styling and the unique design.

Exil de peintre was a creation of Philipe Vandenberg, Henri Hemelsoet and Rein Ergo. The Ergo Pers studio is located on the Muinkkaai in Ghent, and as if by coincidence, it is adjacent to the former studio of Philippe Vandenberg in the Hofstraat.

The etchings were done directly by the artist at the studio of Henrie Hemelsoet in Ghent.

Exil de peintre, is published in a limited edition of 33 copies.
Each book includes two volumes : a first volume with 53 etchings an an additional second volume with a suite of 11 echings, signed and numbered by Philippe Vandenberg.
Each book is signed by the artist in the colophon.

The entire edition is printed on Hahnemühle 150 g. Size 28 x 36 cms.

The book is dedicated to his three children.



Philippe Vandenberg, La lettre au nègre, Exil de peintre, Ergo Pers, Ghent, 2003.
Brief aan de neger, translated from the French by Joost Beerten.

[Listen to the voice of François Beuckelaers in La lettre au nègre,( Les frères Zarakoff, 2004)

Letter to the Nigger, published in Philippe Vandenberg “L’important c’est le kamikaze”: Œuvre 2000-2006, 143-151. Charleville-Mézières: Musée Arthur Rimbaud; Ghent: On-Line, 2006.





 La lettre au nègre, Les frères Zarakoff (2004)




La Lettre au Nègre is the second part of the trilogy devoted to Philippe Vandenberg by the filmmakers Guillaume Vandenberghe, son of the artist, and Raphaël Kolacz.

Directors: Guillaume Vandenberghe, Raphaël Kolacz
Voice: François Beukelaers
Music: Thomas Smetryns
Piano: Daan Vande Walle
Sound: Alexandre Davidson
Production: Les frères Zarakoff Zarakoff Brothers
Colour 9 '





On 11 December 2003, Exil de peintre (Painter's Exile) opened at the Caemersklooster in Ghent, an exhibition based on the publication of the same name by Ergo Pers[1].

After the exhibition in the Caemersklooster Débris was published, a publication in which proofs and texts by Philippe Vandenberg from Exil de peintre were collected. The edition was twice 14 copies, each book was an artefact in its own right due to the unique state of the collected proofs, each book also gave a separate insight into the creation process of some etchings and related drawings and paintings.
Philippe Vandenberg and Rein Ergo each designed or collected fourteen copies, which were all intended for friends of the artists. A few copies were signed by Philippe Vandenberg or given a dedication.



A selection

Philippe Vandenberg, Saint-John's Drawings, 2008

Philippe Vandenberg in Main d'oeuvre

Philippe Vandenberg. L'important c'est le kamikaze | Oeuvre 2000-2006. Musée Arthur Rimbaud, ON LINE vzw, 2006

Bernard Gaube. L’exercice d’une peinture. Cahier n° 1. Bruxelles 2003. Hier verscheen de eerste tekstversie van wat later La Lettre au Nègre werd in Exil de peintre (Ergo Pers, 2004).

Philippe Vandenberg. Oeuvre 1995-1999. Antwerpen : MUHKA - MUseum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, 1999

Een mooie tekst over zijn werk verscheen ook in Ons erfdeel, Yella Arnouts, Het laatste voor de dood. Philippe Vandenberg (1952 – 2009).

Willem Elias, In Memoriam Philippe Vandenberg, Vakgroep Educatiewetenschappen (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) | uvv -

Ludo Bekkers, Het avontuur van het schilderen. Over het oeuvre van Philippe Vandenberg | Ons Erfdeel, jaargang 39 (1996) , p. 575 |



Exil de peintre in Main d'oeuvre, 2015
Exil de peintre en Débris in Main d'oeuvre, 2015




[1] The etchings in Painter's Exile were made in the print shop of Henri Hemelsoet, a master printer and enthusiastic collaborator of Ergo Pers since 1999. For Rein Ergo, he has produced series of etchings by Roger Raveel, Dan Van Severen, Jürgen Partenheimer, Johan Tahon, Carole Vanderlinden, Jean-Marie Bytebier, Karel Dierickx, Pierre Alechinsky, Philippe Vandenberg, Mario De Brabandere and many others.