Squeak Carnwath’s distinctive style of painting and rich beautiful surfaces have been an inspiration to many artists in the San Francisco Bay Area. Soon after graduating with an MFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts, Carnwath received a Visual Arts Fellowship grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a SECA Art Award in 1980 from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which included a solo exhibition at the museum. In 1994, she was awarded the Guggenheim fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
Carnwath’s works on canvas combine text and images, often diaristic elements and thoughts on the role of the artist. Working with oil and alkyd, she is able to impart an irresistible physical presence onto canvas. Her recent New York exhibition garnered notice from both the New York Times and Art in America, in which writer Tatiana Istomina writes, “Carnwath’s principal talent is her ability to transform inert materials into something akin to living matter. In her work, every wobbly line has a character, each handwritten word has its own quirky temperament, and dabs of color have different shapes and moods. . .”