Graphics: Nouveau Frisco

In the decade since the turn-of-the-century's sinuous art-nouveau style first began to stage a comeback, its tendrils have crept into every phase of graphic design, from TV logos to caftan prints. Of late, its variations have grown increasingly bizarre. Like a butterfly bombarded by gamma rays, art nouveau is mutating, intermarrying with the eye-jarring color schemes of op and the gaudy commercialism of pop.

A naked woman, body-painted like a Tiffany lamp shade, decorates the latest ads for Casino Royale; dust jackets for Madame Sarah and Louis Auchincloss' Tales of Manhattan look like so much leftover Alfons Mucha. From coast...

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