During the 1940s, American artists combined artistic movements from abroad with subject matter and visual imagery indigenous to the United States to create uniquely American art. Steve Wheeler, founder of the "Indian Space" movement was particularly interested in the art of North and South American indigenous tribes. Combining their "transformative energetic imagery rendered in flattened, transparent patterns" with more modernist experimentations, Wheeler created complex and diverse arrangements, transforming the ordinary. (R.P. Metzger, Steve Wheeler in Context, exhibition catalogue, New York, 2008, n.p.) In, Young Man Talking to His Mother-in-Law, he creates a fascinating new reality, formed by the fragmentation and colliding patterns of sinuous lines in highly diverse arrangements.
Wheeler's works are currently in many museum collections, most notably The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.