Greatly influenced by European modernism, Paul Kelpe became known in the United States for his two- and three-dimensional abstract works. Kelpe studied art in Germany, and his signature style was built upon constructivism and cubism; he also admired the works of Wassily Kandinsky, El Lissitsky, Naum Gabo, and Kurt Schwitters. Kelpe is known for his geometric forms and careful application of paint that left no visible brushstrokes. He was also among the earliest American artists to make constructions combining painting and found objects. In the 1930s, shortly after moving to the United States, Kelpe worked as a muralist for the WPA, during which time he incorporated representational, machine-like motifs into his work to reflect the popular preference for realism.