Howard Tangye

Photography by Adam Rogers for Water Journal

Howard Tangye (b.1948, Australia) has been an influential force in fashion for decades. Lecturing at London’s Central Saint Martins for 35 years, including 16 years as head of BA Womenswear. There, he tutored many contemporary greats, including John Galliano, Stella McCartney, Christopher Kane, Wes Gordon, Zac Posen and Hussein Chalayan.

Throughout his teaching career Tangye quietly developed a particularly idiosyncratic art practice. By employing a decisive line with bold applications of richly layered materials, Tangye explores the nuances of the human form in an effort to expose his subjects’ true essence and energy.

Through these hyper-vigilant life studies what becomes apparent is an articulation of how the process of drawing offers a freedom to examine emotion in a way other mediums are unable. Tangye’s twisted line finds similarities with Egon Schiele, but what separates Tangye’s work is an intriguing, shy romanticism. Tangye himself states that, ‘[drawing is] a bit like falling in love, however unrequited.’

Examples of Tangye’s portraiture are held in many important collections, both public and private, including the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), Harvard University and London’s National Portrait Gallery.





Born 1948, Queensland, Australia
Lives and works in London, UK


1976 — Parsons School of Art and Design, Post-Graduate degree in drawing, NY
1974 — Central St. Martins School of Art, BA in Fashion, Textiles & Drawing, UK

Selected exhibitions

The Armory Show, New York (State) (solo)
Drawing is Feeling, State, London (solo)

LINKS, Amar Gallery, London (solo)

Whispers, A Project by Adeline De Monseignat, Ronchini Gallery, London UK (group)
Inspired by Soane – I Found This and Thought of You…, John Soane Museum, London UK

Casting the Line, 10 Hanover (Hus Gallery), London UK (solo)

Within (Paper), with Ronals Ceuppens & Gert de Keyser, Galerie Dessers, BE

Art Against Knives, Charity Auction and Exhibition, London UK

Following a Line, exhibition and short film, The Lethaby Gallery, Central St. Martins School of Art & Design, curated by Anna Nicole Ziesche & Howard Tangye (solo)

Picture This: The Artist as Illustrator (100 Years of Drawing), The Lethaby Gallery, Central St. Martins College of Art & Design. Accompanied by a book of the same title by Sylvia Backemeyer

Idyll, Kinnijoe Space, Hamberg, DE

Chase, charity exhibition and auction for St Christopher’s Children’s Hospice. Royal College of Art, London UK

Public collections

The Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A), London (56 works)

The Ethelbert Cooper Gallery, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA (1 work)

The National Portrait Gallery, London (3 works)