Carl Andre's sculpture is inherently concerned with placement. The only one of the Minimalist artists to refer to his work as sculpture, Andre's pieces are a conscious articulation of the space in which it is situated. Evolving from the tradition of carving natural materials in sculpture, Andre transformed this convention and decided that "rather than cut into the material", he would subsequently "use the material as the cut in space." Developing a mathematical grammar that takes nothing away from the material itself but which, like Brancusi's Endless Column, can, through simple permutation, recreate itself in space, Andre's sculptures are nonetheless paradoxical. They are usually made up of a substantial mass of material that clearly asserts its physical presence and yet has no signficant volume.
Andre's sculpture perhaps comes closest to that ultimate sculptural icon of the Minimalist aesthetic, the mysterious dark monolith that appears in Stanley Kubrik's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey. As Kubrik's use of this monolith illustrated by the late 1960s the reductive language of Minimalism was widely recognized as a Modernist language of sincerity and objective truth, as such, it was the ideal language to convincingly convey a profound sense of the mystic.