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LANXESS Corporation Challenges Artists with New Medium

“Unnatural Rubber” Exhibition Celebrates 100 Years of Synthetic Rubber

PITTSBURGH – October 8, 2009 – Leading specialty chemicals manufacturer LANXESS Corporation is preparing to unveil a commissioned sculpture made out of synthetic rubber during the Unnatural Rubber exhibition opening next week at The Andy Warhol Museum, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of a revolutionary invention. On September 12, 1909, Fritz Hofmann received a patent for the “industrial production of synthetic rubber,” which transferred to LANXESS in 2004.

“The invention of Fritz Hoffman 100 years ago helped industrialize society by literally setting it into motion,” said Randy Dearth, president and CEO of LANXESS Corporation. “I am very proud that LANXESS is the heir to the synthetic rubber patent and that we are able to celebrate in such an innovative way, by merging science with art.”

Wheel of Fortune – the piece commissioned by LANXESS Corporation and created by Hank Willis Thomas, Ryan Alexiev and Loren Madsen – takes the form of a massive three-dimensional timeline of the production of synthetic rubber over the past 100 years, coated in tire-tread with a specialty tire rim at the end. The sculpture is made of tire rubber (60% synthetic rubber). Events such as WWII, the Oil Embargo of the 70s, and the Asian Financial Crisis (1998) can clearly be seen as a bump or dip in the overall upward trajectory of rubber production.

“With tire treads as markers of time, Wheel of Fortune provides museum patrons a rare chance to experience the passing of history in a physical and visual representation,” says artist Hank Willis Thomas. “The sculpture bears witness to the ways in which a specific industry has been affected by global events.

”Both Lehigh Technologies and Michelin Tires (Michelin Retread Technologies XZY-1) donated rubber for Wheel of Fortune.

The Unnatural Rubber exhibition will be on view at The Andy Warhol Museum from October 18, 2009 through January 31, 2010 and then travel to other museums and LANXESS locations around the world.

The website follows the exhibition and will feature artist interaction along with a look at other pieces from the exhibition, historical synthetic rubber information and artist submissions.

LANXESS produces hundreds of different grades of synthetic rubber designed for a diverse range of applications, making it the manufacturer with the broadest product range. With 100 years of experience in synthetic elastomers, the company is also regarded as a technology leader and a driving force in the industry.


LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 6.58 billion in 2008 and currently around 14,600 employees in 23 countries. The company is represented at 44 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacture and marketing of specialty chemicals, plastics, rubber and intermediates.

Information for editors:

100 years of synthetic rubber – interesting information about the anniversary and the numerous areas of application can be found at

You can find further information about LANXESS chemistry in our WebMagazine by visiting

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by LANXESS AG management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.


Lehigh Technologies is a leading specialty chemicals company that produces high-performance micronized rubber powders (MRP), a sustainable specialty material that replaces oil-based materials to reduce costs. Lehigh's cryogenic turbo mill technology converts end-of-life tires and other post-industrial rubber into micron-scale powders used in a wide range of consumer and industrial applications. Customers include more than 60 leading tire, asphalt and plastics companies around the world. To learn more, visit


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