The Belgian painter James Ensor is regarded as one of the most important Symbolist artists. His mother, who ran a gift shop selling masks, was a clear inspiration for the playful nature of his subjects' expressions.

blog.php-380 James Ensor, Baptême de masques, ca. 1925

This work in Dorotheum's sale showcases Ensor's experimentation with light, as well as his focus on masked characters, skeletons, and the carnival.

Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, Attesa, 1967-1968 Lucio Fontana,
Concetto Spaziale, Attesa, 1967-1968

On 1st June, the star of the contemporary sale will be a Lucio Fontana canvas. Between 1920 and 1940, Fontana focused on ceramics and sculpture. It was not until 1946 when he published the Manifesto Blanco his theories on artistic research, and founded the following year the Spazialismo group, that his work began to focus on ways in which the canvas can be manipulated.

Fontana would split the canvas to create two dimensions, breathing a new found life into the canvas by quite literally giving it another layer.

''I make a hole in the canvas in order to leave behind the old pictorial formulae, the painting and the traditional view of art and I escape symbolically, but also materially, from the prison of the flat surface,'' Fontana said in the last interview he gave in 1947.

Gerhard Richter, Portrait of Karl-Heinz Hering,1968 Gerhard Richter,
Portrait of Karl-Heinz Hering,1968

A sculpture by Fernando Botero, a painting by Tom Wesselmann and an oil by Rudolf Bauer and Gerhard Richter's portrait of his longtime companion Karl-Heinz Hering painted from a photograph will also feature on the 1st June.

Check out Dorothem on Barnebys here.