Lisa Paulsen

Collector Profile:

Lisa Paulsen’s bold, highly contemporary collection is a love letter to Australian and New Zealand contemporary art.

By Kirsty Sier MAY 2018

When asked, Lisa Paulsen will struggle to pin down her artistic tastes. Like many collectors, the Sydney-based devotee started buying works on the advice of an art consultant but, since she returned to Australia in the mid-1990s after several years living in Singapore, she’s been doing things her own way. Although her collection includes as many objects and sculptures as it does canvases and photographs– not to mention a careful balance between big and small hitters in the art world – it is as eclectic as it is narrative-driven. Specifically, the narrative thread she has been cultivating for over two decades has been a preoccupation with contemporary Australian and New Zealand artists, whom she sees as more than capable of holding their own on the world stage. This broad yet targeted focus has steered her well. Paulsen has previously worked for the AGNSW, served three terms on the board of the MCA and twice been involved with the Australian contingent at the Venice Biennale, as well as supporting various other arts organisations. As VAULT discovers, this participation in the Australian art community has only fuelled Paulsen’s appetite for bigger things – in both the literal and figurative senses.

You’ve previously described yourself as a “self-taught collector”.
Where did you begin?

I’ve got quite eclectic taste, and I also respond very much to my surroundings. I am always very influenced, if I’m in a certain country, by what I see. For instance, if you’re in Asia you see Asian porcelain, and if you’re in Norway you notice Swedish furniture, and all that kind of thing. I started seriously collecting contemporary Australian art when we moved back to Sydney [from Singapore] – which was .. Subscribe to read this article in full


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Art Gallery of New South WalesNGA Metro Govett Brewster NGVBendigo Art Gallery