Charles M. Gere, Provence, 1926, ink, crayon and watercolour on paper, 324 x 457 mm, Tate.
Charles M. Gere does a watercolour of his holiday in Provence, as about a billion and one other British artists had done for over a century and a half before him. What distinguishes him from his predecessors? At first glance, not much. He hasn't shattered the image and rearranged it in a Cubist stylee, or turned the colour knob up like an over-excited Expressionist. But, if you look closely, you can just about tell this is from the twentieth Century, and not the nineteenth. There's a flattening of the areas of colour that gives a hint that Gere may have once seen a Gauguin, and results in the impression that the ground is as liquid as the river running through it. Much British art of the time is in this vein. A nod to the undeniable fact that something's changed, but not wanting to be foolish and throw all the old stuff away in a rash moment. Many sneer at this, but it's a reasonable enough attitude. Most people are not revolutionaries, but are also not totally conservative. This type of work captures that large slice of human experience nicely.