Léger saw the post-war process of reconstruction in France as an opportunity for positive, collective action. In this harmonious scene, man, industry and nature work together for the greater good. The workers are intertwined with each other and with their surroundings as they rebuild society. The bright colours reflect the positive and harmonious mood of the idealised scene. Léger has chosen to combine realism and abstraction to depict his socialist subject matter. The artist was a member of the French Communist party, and this painting suggests that the needs of the individual should give way to those of the team. Dressed in overalls, the workers build a structure in Communist red.
In 1950 Léger made a series of paintings depicting construction workers. Although he had been interested in depicting modernity for some time, he was particularly inspired by the post-war process of reconstruction in France. He saw a group of electricians working on pylons and was struck by the contrast between the natural surroundings and the metallic girders. After joining the French Communist Party in 1945, Léger concentrated on the human figure, as he wanted to make his work accessible to everyone. Eager that his art should be seen by ordinary workers, he exhibited the series of 'Constructors' paintings in the canteen of the Renault car factory in Paris.
Born in Normandy, Léger settled in Paris in 1902, where he was apprenticed to an architect. His first cubist paintings date from 1909. He was a major figure in the cubist movement, although his work featured bold tubular shapes instead of the fragmentation seen in the paintings of Picasso or Braque. After the First World War, Léger became fascinated with machinery and industrial forms. His work from the mid-1920s was increasingly stylized, using bold flat colours with strong outlines. Léger lived in America during the Second World War and was inspired by the dynamism and vitality of the country.