December 22, 2008

Theo Wiesen, Totem-like wooden structures

picture from the website of the collection l´Aracine

Born in the rather small community of Welchenhausen in the Eiffel area (Germany), Theo Wiesen (1906-1999) at a young age lost his parents. With the remaining members of the family he moved to Grüfflingen, a community in the German speaking part of Belgium. As an adult he first had there a job as a carpenter and then, from 1939 on, he exploited a saw-mill.

Once retired, in the 1960s, Wiesen began making paintings and carving wood.

He has become known for his totem-like depictions of persons and animals, creations he around 1972 began to display on the premises of the house were he lived.

Some of these creations were displayed amidst surrounding trees, as in the pictures below, other wooden structures were joined together, forming a fence of about 12 meters.

pictures from weblog donews (not available anymore) 
collection of the Lille Art Museum

Theo Wiesen's totem-like structures no longer can be seen in situ.  Most (smaller) works have been absorbed into the french Collection l´Aracine, when Wiesen could no longer take care of  them,

In its turn, the Aracine collection has been donated to the LaM, the Lille Art Museum, located in Villeneuve d'Ascq, France.

Wiesen's creations as exhibited in the LaM
picture courtesy of Richard Bennaars
A selection of Theo Wiesen's creations has been included in the museum's permanent exposition, housed in a new annex to the museum, opened late 2010 (The museum's collection includes some seventy works by Wiesen).

The authorities of Welchenhausen paid tribute to Wiesen by renaming the central square of the community as Theodor-Wiesen-Platz.

* Website of l'Aracine
* Website Habitant-paysagistes (by Lille Art Museum from March 2018 on) has an entry about Theo Wiesen with a number of pictures of the former garden (from the documentation of l'Aracine)

first published December 2008, last revised March 2018

Theo Wiesen
Wooden structures
(originally) Grüfflingen, Belgium
site doesn't exist anymore
wooden structures were saved
and are currently in the Lille Art Museum

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