This work is registered in the archives of the Calder Foundation, New York, under application number A08262.
Mimicking the dramatic silhouette of its larger counterpart, Small Plow (Maquette), is composed of three triangular elements that arc delicately outward while leaning against each other. Calder elaborates the structure's formal duality by creating his elegant, sinuous forms in hard, industrial sheet metal. Outdoor sculpture had always been an important part of Calder's oeuvre and became a central preoccupation of the last twenty years of his career. In 1936, after his first attempts at outdoor works proved to be too delicate for strong winds, Calder refined his outdoor practice by creating smaller scale maquettes that were then enlarged to monumental size. Thus, even at a height of 11 inches, the stability of this standing maquette forever suggests its translation to a vast scale. However, due to its elegant form, and exceptional provenance and history, this work stands alone as a sculpture in its own right; it possesses the delicacy of Calder's small, hand-wrought sculptures, as well as the emphatic bravura of his most ambitious projects.