As a result of his work on the railroad, Andre abandoned carving and began constructing works out of found materials, consciously exposing their natural character. Since the materials he used were neither unique nor precious, they assumed their identity as art only when presented as such by the artist.
Andre redefined sculpture as an art of space rather than mass. His most obvious contribution to contemporary sculpture has been his focus on horizontality, in contrast to the traditional interest that sculptors have had in creating vertical, upright structures.
Andre's works consist of modular, interchangeable units held in place by their own weight. The physical dimensions of exhibition space, and how we are able to move within that space, become an integral part of each work. According to Andre, art like nature should be inconspicuously integrated into its environment and should reveal the inherent properties of the material. In 1978 he said, ?My arrangements, I've found, are essentially the simplest I can arrive at, given a material and a place...The one thing I learned in my work is that to make the work I wanted, you couldn't impose properties on the materials. You have to reveal the properties of the material."