In the 1940s, the Italian painter and sculptor Lucio Fontana carried out a gesture that revolutionized the history of contemporary art: He punctured and slashed the canvas, leaving fissures in its surface and creating a new dimension in painting. Recognized as one of the masters of the international midcentury avant-garde, Fontana, who was actually born in Argentina, is considered a father of postwar monochromatic abstraction and Conceptual art. Organized by curator Luca Massimo Barbero of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Lucio Fontana: Venice/New York catalogues the artist's first exhibition in the U.S. since the Guggenheim's landmark 1977 retrospective. Furthermore, it introduces two rarely seen bodies of work that were created around the cities of Venice and New York, presented together here for the first time. The Venice paintings, shimmering surfaces in silver and gold that recall the mosaics of St. Mark's and that city's Byzantine splendor, are juxtaposed with the New York works--giant sheets of shiny and scratched copper, cut through by dynamic vertical gestures that conjure the force of Manhattan and its powerful, electric skyline. Featuring a facsimile reproduction of Fontana's 1947 "Manifesto Tecnico," as well as essays by Barbero and other leading scholars of the artist's oeuvre, including Enrico Crispolti (author of the Fontana catalogue raisonné), Paolo Campiglio and Barbara Ferriani.