Arguably the most important sculptural work to be sold outside the studio of sculptural artist Greg Johns – the four-part Forgotten – Remembered Figures suite – is to be sold by informal tender by Theodore Bruce Auctions.

The sale is the final chapter in a moral dilemma surrounding the transfer of the sculptural suite.

Mr Johns was incensed when only three pieces of the four-part work were removed from the Lifeplan Building, Gawler Place, Adelaide, and entrusted to Theodore Bruce Auctions for sale in June 2013.

The question of the moral rights of artists was raised by Mr Johns, he arguing that to break up the suite destroyed the “the artistic integrity of the work”.

Mr Johns further argued that the sculptural work was site specific as it had been commissioned by Manchester Unity for the then new Gawler Place Building in 1988-89.

James Bruce, Managing Director of Theodore Bruce Auctions and fourth generation auctioneer, said he was pleased to advise that in consideration of the artistic integrity of the work, the fourth piece to the sculptural suite had now been included in the sale, therefore bringing to market the most important sculptural work by Greg Johns to ever be sold outside of direct commission with the artist through his studio.

“A commission of this scale with Greg Johns could cost as much as half a million dollars today,” said Mr Bruce.

Mr Bruce said the auctioneer’s objective was to sell the sculptural work to the highest tenderer but with consideration to the eventual location and public access to the sculptural suite – as well as for the purchaser to engage Mr Johns to site and erect the sculptural suite.

“What I hope to achieve is a win/win for my client, the artist and the South Australian community,” said Mr Bruce.

The informal tender will be run through the month of February, closing 4pm Friday February 28.

A full description of the sculptural suite along with photographs is available on Theodore Bruce’s new website

All enquiries should be directed to James Bruce on [email protected] or phone 0417 834 455 or 8340 7551.

Greg Johns
(Born: 1953-) Australia
Forgotten – Remembered Figures 1988-89
Material:  Corton Steel, four parts, freestanding
Estimate: POA