ANA Spotlight

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s Artwork Sells For An Outstanding $3.6million at Sotheby’s Auction

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Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s compelling artwork, “Six Birds in the Bush” (2015), sold for $3.6 million at Sotheby’s auction in London. This remarkable achievement not only shattered previous records for the British-Ghanaian artist but also set a new pinnacle for works by Black British female artists in the auction world.

The auction, part of The Now Evening Auction series, commenced with an initial bid of 850,000 pounds. From the very beginning, the bidding war intensified, swiftly surpassing all expectations. As the auctioneer’s gavel fell, a phone bidder clinched the prized piece for the remarkable sum of $3.6 million, equivalent to 2,952,000 British Pounds. This remarkable figure nearly doubled the previous high mark for Yiadom-Boakye’s artwork, signifying a significant leap in her market value.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Six Birds in the Bush, oil on linen, 200×130 cm.
Image courtesy of Sootheby’s

“Six Birds in the Bush” portrays a man captured in a moment of reluctant contemplation, his gaze penetrating the viewer with a depth that resonates profoundly. The painting’s expressive power, coupled with Yiadom-Boakye’s masterful technique, captivated art enthusiasts and collectors alike, driving the bidding to unprecedented heights.

This momentous achievement underscores the artistic brilliance of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye but also signifies a transformative milestone for Black British female artists. The sale of “Six Birds in the Bush” at $3.6 million establishes a groundbreaking record. Furthermore, it marks a significant shift in the recognition and value of talented Black female artists worldwide.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
Image courtesy of Tate Modern

Sotheby’s, renowned for its prestigious auctions and discerning collectors, played a pivotal role in this historic sale. The event not only celebrated artistic excellence but also highlighted the importance of diversity and representation within the art world. The falling gavel and global audience witnessed a clear shattering of barriers, ushering in increased recognition, appreciation, and value for outstanding creations by artists such as Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

The art community anticipates further exploration of diverse voices and narratives. This milestone fosters an environment where artists from all backgrounds can thrive. Additionally, their creations can find the recognition they rightfully deserve. The sale of Six Birds in the Bush” is a testament to the power of art to challenge norms. It also underscores the ability of art to inspire change and elevate voices that have long been overlooked.


Rose Mwikali Musyoki is a creative writer from Nairobi, Kenya. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Business and Finance from the University of Embu, Kenya, and is the founder of Bloom Inc, an art startup in Kenya. Currently, she works as a writer for Art News Africa.

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