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After his studies at the Beaux Arts of Paris, Patrice Balvay practises painting by using the analogy between the surface of the skin and that of the canvas. The painting becomes a succession of layers and suggests to us the thickness of the flesh or its evanescence as in the series les médusés.

Stone cutting which Patrice Balvay used to practise in his younger days, marks his current approach of drawing. Indeed, the impact of the crayon on the support is the prime feature and the sheet is regarded as a block on which each stroke is irreversible. In his series pierre noire et craie blanche an only line is spinning large drifting spaces. He carries on with the performative practice of drawing in his series drawing by walking stemmed from a residence in Japan (TWS/TOKAS Residency). For each drawing Patrice Balvay starts from a preconceived gesture which he repeats, declines, breaks as a dancer or a gardener might do. The whole body, from toes to fingers, transmits its shivering, its breathing, and its falling to the crayon. It no longer is the hand that guides the stroke but rather the hand that follows the line. This non-mastery which he seeks is for Patrice Balvay the necessary condition for the line to be similar to an experiment and to become alive, so to speak.

Patrice Balvay is currently hosted in residence in Le Havre at the Fort!, a space of multidisciplinary creation. The characteristics of this town inspire his practice: the incessant variations of lights, the floating spaces of the docks, the bygone city which haunts the reconstructed town. A town, with its yawning gaps, its alignments, its height differences, its huge harbour expanses, that one can stride across as a landscape.

Curriculum Vitae

Born on the 08/11/1968


In Mâcon (71)

1bis rue du docteur Dufour

76000 Le Havre

MDA : B989216

SIRET : 4977952200028


2011    Agrégation d’arts plastiques

1993    Licence d’arts plastiques, Paris VIII

1991     DSAP Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris


2019   Drawing by Walking, La Forme, Le Havre.
De retour du vaste monde, MuMa, Le Havre.

2018   Les iconoclasses 20, Galerie Duchamp (Yvetot).

2017    Chambre noire, Le Sonic, (Le Havre).
2016   Open Studio, Tokyo Wonder Site, (Tokyo).

             After Frenhofer, ESADHaR, (Le Havre).
2015   La fabrique du dessin, Frac Haute-Normandie, (Sotteville-lès-Rouen).

2014   Méduses, Muséum d’histoire naturelle, (Le Havre).

2013   Les médusés, La Forme, (Le Havre).

             Les ligatures, La Glacière, (Le Havre).

             Code Noir, Frac Haute-Normandie, (Sotteville-lès-Rouen).
2012   De la peau à la main, PARCC Paris-Cardiovascular research Center, (Paris).
2010   Les annonces, chez Laurent C, (Rouen).
2009  Pleins feux, (Veules les Roses).
             (des)accords communs, dessins de la collection du Frac Haute-Normandie, (Jumièges).

2008  Via crusis, Abbaye de Graville, (Le Havre).

             Plis, Abbaye de Jumièges, (Jumièges).

             Galerie Akié Arichi, (Paris).
2007  Mine de rien, Espace d’art contemporain 2angles, (Flers).

             Citrea acerba, Musée du Prieuré, (Harfleur).

2006  Grain/Pixel, Traversée d’art, (Saint-Ouen).

             Galerie Plume
             Les iconoclasses 8, Galerie Duchamp, (Yvetot).

             Galerie d’art contemporain, (Chamalières).

2005  La biennale d’Issy, Musée de la carte à  jouer, (Issy le Molineaux).

2004  Prix Marin, Galerie Julio Gonzales, (Arcueil).

2003  Galerie Ipso-Facto, Nantes.

             L’Antichambre, Galerie Oncle Ben, (Le Havre).



2022  Nadja, MuMa (Le Havre).

2021  Hyoubaku, (Le Havre).

2020  Horizons, (Le Havre)

             Étendre, Notre-Dame de Joie, (Le Gohazé).

2019   Etude, MuMa, (Le Havre).

2018    Ohana no Gisei (Yvetot).

2017    Prélude à l’exposition, (Le Havre).

2016    Over crossing, Nihonbashi, (Tokyo).
1987    Repérages, (Paris).


2018   Iconoclasses 20, (Yvetot).
2010-2019   Fort ! (Le Havre).

2016   TWS/Tokyo Arts and Space (TOKAS) Residency (Tokyo).

2006  Iconoclasses 8, (Yvetot).



Muséum d’histoire naturelle du Havre

Frac Normandie Rouen

Atelier Bettinger desplanques - Le Havre

Eglise Saint-Martin - Harfleur


3x3, 47-2, 2023

Loin, 47-2, 2023.

Partita I & II, Éditions Courte Echelle, 2020.

Articulations of Arts Urisen, Tokyo, septembre 2017.

After frenhofer, Université du Havre, 2015.

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