Personal profile


Anna Novakov is a writer and cultural critic whose most recent book, Imagine Utopias in the Built Environment: From London’s Vauxhall Garden to the Black Rock Desert was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in 2017. The daughter of noted environmental physicist Tihomir Novakov, she was immersed in the Ecotopian dreams of air pollution control from an early age. She was raised in both the Socialist Utopia of post-war Yugoslavia and the free speech, counterculture movement of Berkeley, California. Both radical movements had profound influences on women’s rights, new technology and the built environment – areas of study that would form the basis of Novakov’s creative practice. In 1992, after completing her doctorate at New York University, she came to prominence in Manhattan as one of the first art critics to write about the interrelationship between art, technology and Utopian spaces. The author of dozens of books, exhibition catalogues, magazine and newspaper articles, Novakov lives in Berkeley, in Santa Fe and on a ranch in Northern New Mexico and is Executive Director of Freehold Taos, co-Founder of Provisional Art Spaces and Professor Emerita of Art History at Saint Mary’s College of California. Novakov is an art and technology correspondent for Art Press (Paris) and critical reviewer for The Magazine (Santa Fe).

Anna Novakov is one of the founders of Provisional Art Spaces [PAS] a network of curators and artists focused on creating opportunities for contemporary art in provisional urban and natural spaces. The completed projects utilize variable time durations and can last for a few hours, a day, weeks or years. We invite project ideas that have a light carbon footprint, are easily transportable (through drop box, mobile apps, etc.) and are conceptually innovative. Projects that include multiple artists in various locations around the globe are encouraged.

Novakov is also Executive Director of Freehold Taos. Freehold Taos is an international cultural organization that seeks to provide a serene workspace (a two-room adobe casita with a bedroom, office, full bath and a kitchenette) and quiet, uninterrupted time for writers to practice their craft. Selective year-round residencies are open to writers and academics.  Residencies are accepted all year. Freehold Taos is located on Ute Mountain Ranch -- a five-acre, Earthship hybrid ranch in the beautiful Sunshine Valley, 30 minutes north of Taos, New Mexico.

Novakov's current research is focused on the influence of Theosophy on Interwar New Mexican artists and writers. 

Related documents

Education/Academic qualification

Ph.D. Art History and Art Education, New York University

… → 1992

M.A. Art History, University of California, Davis

… → 1983

B.A. English Literature and Art History, University of California - Berkeley

… → 1981


  • Arts and Humanities