"Picasso painted Les Demoiselles d'Avignon in 1907, three years before Manansala was born. It took another thirty-nine years before Manansala had a meaningful encounter with the revolutionary style. Cubism then became the generating force of Manansala's mature works, the stylistic center of his main oeuvres. It was not a master-follower relationship - it was more like extending the premises of a tradition. Cubism did not curtail the dimension of Manansala's vision. He enriched the style and gave it a new context. Above all, he gave it a new sense of place." (Rodolfo Paras-Perez, Manansala, Plc Publications, Manila, 1980, p.75.)
It is no doubt that Cubism freed Manansala's vision from the genre tradition of direct transcription of nature as well as the supremacy of emotion of the Abstract-Expressionism. It provided the artist with a visual idiom to continue working in the figuration mode, articulating new ways to record the Filipino images which remained one of the essential elements of Manansala's cubist works. Filipino images such as the Jeepneys, Barong-Barong, Sabungero and the Luksong-Tinik as with the present lot which is a popular game for the filipino children were amongst the artist's favourite subjects.
It is apt to say that the artist 'indigenised' cubism in the Philippines. Folk or common everyday subjects, like the Luksong-Tinik were reconstructed utilising an adapted form of cubism when images were transposed into geometric multi-faceted forms on continually shifting and overlapping planes. For Manansala, cubism did not necessitate a complete disfiguration, in place was a respect for the integrity of the natural forms of the subjects only to be viewed from pluralistic perspectives.
Equally important was the artist's link between his brand of cubism and his facility in watercolour. One of the best watercolourist in the Philippines after Carlos Francisco, Manansala has adapted the transparent quality of the medium to his oil works thus creating a brand of 'Transparent Cubism' uniquely associated with his works. Dated in 1973, Luksong-Tinik was executed at the height of his 'cubist maturity', after his experimentation with the Stained Glass, Whirr,Shibui and Chromatic series. The jumping movement of the girl was depicted with an affliction with the Whirr series, which, suggested in the words of the artist "The birds would be flying in flocks, whirling." (Ibid., p.158.)