This work is registered in the archives of the Calder Foundation, New York, under application number A07770.
Calder's Red Spike is a marriage of his two most characteristic sculptural forms: the mobile and the stabile. The hybrid construction offers a static, stabile base which supports an attachment of moving elements. These standing mobiles allowed Calder to develop new and various combinations of rising and falling forms, which often reminded him of natural things like flowers, fruit or animals.
The tall, multicolored stand combined with its graceful sweep of black and white elements is superb example of Calder's work from the 1950s. It displays his invigorating confidence, he is comfortable with his materials and forms and he continues to explore new compositions with sublimely intricate engineering. The 1950s were a busy time for the artist; in 1953 he represented the United States at the Venice Biennale where he won the grand prize for sculpture. This recognition launched his enormous Post-War international career. The present lot is a sculpture executed during Calder's prime; at once comfortable and still challenged by the mobiles that he invented, he uses color, form and balance to create a piece which balances elegance and masterful construction.