Jef Verheyen studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and at the Higher Institute in painting, drawing and ceramics (with Olivier Strebelle, 1946-1954). He met Dani Franque, his later wife, at that institute. In 1954 they opened a ceramics workshop and shop together, l’Atelier 14, opposite the Rubens House.
From 1956 they took part together with ceramics at various exhibitions and salons in Belgium. Verheyen painted more and more and traveled to Italy (Milan) where he met Piero Manzoni, Roberto Crippa and Lucio Fontana. Verheyen was one of the co-founders of G-58 Hessenhuis, published Essentialism and worked in Antwerp with, among others, Paul De Vree, Guy Vandenbranden and Englebert Van Anderlecht at the New Flemish School. With Van Anderlecht he painted a series of ten paintings, Ni l’un ni l’autre. He met Günther Uecker in the Hessenhuis and from the beginning of the sixties he took part in the numerous ZERO exhibitions. Jef Verheyen worked with the ZERO members and played an important role as a contact person for the group and the artists in Belgium. In 1974 Verheyen settled with his family in the south of France.