The group was founded in Romein 1951 by Alberto Burri, Ettore Colla, Giuseppe Capogrossi and Mario Ballocco. Critical of what they saw as the increasingly decorative quality of abstract art at the time, they opposed a ‘troubled’ consciousness of the world to the progressivist utopia of the Fronte Nuovo delle Arti neo-cubists and of the formalist abstraction of the Movimento Arte Concreta and Forma I groups.
In their founding manifesto they called for a return to fundamentals:
The Gruppo Origine intends to become the most morally valid point of reference of ‘non-figurative’ expressive needs. By openly renouncing three-dimensional forms, by reducing colour to its simplest, peremptory and incisive expressive function, by evoking pure and elemental images, the Group’s artists express the necessity of a rigorous, coherent, energetic vision [which is] primarily anti-decorative.
They held a group exhibition in Rome at the Galleria Origine in 1951 and disbanded the same year.