The Corrente group formed in Milan around the magazine Corrente di vita giovanile which later became Corrente, founded by Ernesto Treccani in 1938 and suppressed by the fascist regime in 1940.

Their art, albeit with difficulty, was supported by the galleries Il Milione in Milan and La Bottega di Corrente. La Bottega was closed for political reasons and was then taken over by Alberto della Ragione (1892-1973), a patron and art collector, who changed its name to Galleria della Spiga and kept on promoting the group and collecting its works.

Corrente’s key art critic was Mario de Micheli.

Painters part of this movement included Treccani, Renato Birolli (who came to Corrente after experience in the Futurist movement), Renato Guttuso, Bruno Cassinari, Ennio Morlotti, Giuseppe Migneco, Aligi Sassu, Giuseppe Santomaso, Fiorenzo Tomea, and Italo Valenti. Emilio Vedova became part of Corrente in 1942, in the late stage of the group, and later followed his own path. The sculptors Giacomo Manzù, Luigi Broggini, and Lucio Fontana (the most isolated of them), rejected the archaism and classicism of 20th-century art. As well as the exclusive intellectualism of the avant-gardes.

Their attention focused on figures at work, captured through realism in the light of expressionism. The new models were the works of Van Gogh, Ensor, Munch, Kokoschka, and Kirchner, and Picasso’s Guernica (1937), which they considered emblematic of the tragedy of contemporary events.

In 1943, the Corrente group disbanded.