A member of the Ecuadorian artists group Vanguardia Artística Nacional (VAN), Luis
Molinari-Flores rebelled with his peers against the dominant trend of indigenismo, which
consisted of often-stereotypical depictions of idealized indigenous life or Native suffering.
Instead, Grupo VAN forged a new national style informed by international abstraction and
indigenous textile traditions. Engaging with Op Art in particular, Molinari-Flores here
employs the optical illusion of an ambiguous Thiery figure, in which forms oscillate between
appearing to project outward—like the corner of a cube entering the viewer’s space—and
appearing to recede behind the picture plane, as if the viewer is looking into a corner of a
room. There is a discrepancy between what we see—three-dimensional forms that keep
shifting their position in space—and what is actually there: a series of flat parallelograms.
The shifts in value enhance the illusion by suggesting a light source in various passages, as
do the corners of the composition drawn to 45-degree angles.
–When We Were Young: Rethinking Abstraction From The University At Albany Art Collections (1967-Present)