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Kinky book collectors routinely pay over $1,000 for unsigned first-edition copies of photographer Larry Clark's cult book Tulsa, his torrid photographic chronicle of heroin chic among Oklahoma teenagers published by Lustrum Press in 1971. But now, art-world insiders are flocking to the SoHo bookstore Printed Matter and snapping up signed copies of the book for a bargain-priced $400. It seems that the 56-year-old photographer, who gained national notoriety in 1995 for the nihilistic youth-cult movie Kids, found 100 unbound copies of the second, 1981 edition that he had forgotten in his basement.

Clark had the books bound and turned them over to the nonprofit bookseller with the request that they be sold "cheaply and quickly." Indeed, over 30 of the newly signed and numbered tomes have already found buyers. The second edition isn't quite as valuable as the first -- Swann Galleries sold one in February for $575 -- but for the Clark cult, it hardly matters. "Act quickly," advises Printed Matter, which will present an exhibition of Clark's books and a copy of his 1981 photographic portfolio of all 50 black-and-white prints from Tulsa (for sale for $25,000). "We expect any copies of the Printed Matter edition of Tulsa left to go quickly during the show. "

Don't miss the brand new Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art, Sept. 24-Nov. 7, 1999, billed as the first ever biennial to be held in the United Kingdom. The main exhibition -- dubbed "Trace: The International Exhibition" -- features over 60 artists from 25 countries with an emphasis on young rising talent, and is organized by Anthony Bond, chief curator of the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Australia. "Trace" is apparently conceived as multi-sensual, and features "objects that allow us to reconstruct histories through personal memories and associations." The show is to be spread out through several sites, including the Tate Gallery Liverpool, the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, galleries at the University of Liverpool and John Moores University, Princess Dock and several galleries, with site-specific works installed in St. John's Gardens and Lewis's Department Store. Among the artists participating is Jessica Voorsanger, who will gather some football fans and explore the theme in context of the city's famous football spirit.

In addition to "Trace," the Liverpool Biennial is to present the "John Moores 21" juried exhibition of contemporary painters (selected this year by Germaine Greer, art critic Richard Cork, artist Mark Francis, painter Dan Hays and Ikon Gallery director Elizabeth A. MacGregor); "newcontemporaries," an annual exhibition of contemporary art by 33 students from UK art colleges; and "Tracey: An Artist Led Initiative," of over 30 independently organized exhibitions.

Speaking of Liverpool, the Liverpool City Council wants the Guggenheim Museum to build a $96-million satellite museum on the banks of the Mersey. Liverpool city official Flo Clucas is keen on the idea, noting the success of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao across the channel in Spain. But she's not the only one. The city of Lyon in southwest France, home to the "Lyon Biennial," is also interested, and a delegation of Lyon officials took a special tour of the Bilbao museum. But despite his reputation as a global empire builder, Guggenheim director Thomas Krens is having none of it. "We have absolutely no plans to build a Guggenheim museum in Lyon or elsewhere in Europe, South America or Asia," said museum deputy director Judith Cox in a prepared statement.

The fourth biennial of the Absolut-L.A. International launches today and runs July 15-Aug. 21, with 60 Los Angeles galleries turning their space over to dealers from over 26 foreign countries for presentations of some 200 out-of-town artists. The show is co-organized by Robert Berman and William Turner.

Chicago's summer art celebration, Absolut Vision 4 Chicago, begins tomorrow and runs July 16-Aug. 16, 1999, with 28 gallery openings. Among the shows are "More than a Muse -- Women Paint, Sculpt, Print" at Aaron Galleries; "American Modernism 1920-1950" at Robert Henry Adams Fine Art; "Dancing across the Water" and "3Reel/3 Real" at Vedanta Gallery; and "Big Muddy: Too Thick to Drink, Too Thin to Plow" at Zolla/Lieberman Gallery. The show is sponsored by Absolut Vodka and the Chicago Art Dealers Association, which took the occasion to award the 2nd annual Absolut Visionary Award to Susanne Ghez, director of the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago.

After years of controversy, Richard H. Glanton and Niara Sudarska are off the board of the famed Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pa. During his eight-year tenure as Barnes president, Glanton renovated the eccentric institution and sent its collection of Impressionist paintings on a successful $17-million world tour. But his abrasive personality and efforts to open the foundation to a wider audience ruffled feathers among foundation neighbors and local officials. Sudarska resigned as president of the foundation last year after accusations of financial mismanagement at Lincoln University, which appoints four of the five Barnes trustees. The new members nominated by Lincoln University are Bernard C. Watson, former president of the William Penn Foundation president, Jeff R. Donaldson, artist and former dean of fine arts at Howard University.

Hillary Clinton plans to take what would have become the first permanent White House crafts collection with her when she leaves office, according to MSNBC gossip Jeanette Walls. The First Lady acquired works by David W. Levi, Wendell Castle and other leading craftspeople for display at the White House, despite a policy that forbids the White House to accept works by living artists. Walls seems to think that the Clintons should offer to return the art to the artists.

The bidding has started for Posh Spice's $96,000 Vera Wang dress, worn at her wedding to footballer David Beckham. The Victoria & Albert museum has admitted that it covets the frock and hopes that the glamourpuss will put it on long-term loan. V&A chairwoman Paula Ridley recently said that the museum needed modernization. Perhaps the wedding dress will "spice" up the historical collection.

The Metropolitan Museum has announced several curatorial promotions and appointments. Helen C. Evens, a curatorial associate in the department of medieval art since 1991, was appointed full curator. She is presently in charge of the reinstallation of the Met's Byzantine galleries. J. Kenneth Moore was promoted to associate curator in charge of musical instruments; Perrin Stein was promoted to associate curator of drawings and prints; and Eric P. Kjellgren to assistant curator of the arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas. New appointments at the museum include Christopher Sherwin Lightfoot, associate curator of Greek and Roman art, and Michiel Christiaan Plomp, associate curator of northern drawings.

The Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Oh., has hired Ohio State University architecture professor Jeffrey Kipnis as its new curator of architecture. Kipnis, who authored Choral Works, a study of the collaboration between Jacques Derrida and Peter Eisenman, will retain his post at OSU. He succeeds Mark Robbins, who left in February to become director of design at the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Royal Academy of Arts in London has elected two new sculptor members -- Anish Kapoor and David Nash. At the same time, Georg Baselitz and Mimmo Paladino were named as honorary academicians.

Art-world scandals hardly get as juicy as the love triangle between Victorian painter John Everett Millais, art critic John Ruskin and Ruskin's wife Effie. The scintillating story is now the subject of The Countess, a new play that recently opened at the Samuel Beckett Theater at 410 West 42nd Street in Manhattan. Written by first-time playwright Gregory Murphy in 1995, this is the play's second run. Millais (Jy Murphy), Ruskin (James Riordan) and Effie (Jennifer Woodward) are all fantastic, and make art history a lot more fun than Janson. Call the box office at (212) 971-1087 for info.