If You Close the Door is an extended series of small paintings based on photo sessions with women friends exploring lesbian club culture. The series was exhibited at the September Gallery in Berlin in 2012, and again at the Vane Gallery in Gateshead in 2020.

If You Close the Door uses the idea of dark semi-public spaces for erotic and intimate encounters, the focus being as much on the quality of the spaces as the bodies that move in it. The rudimentarily-furnished, dimly-lit rooms provide an indefinite framework, while the minimalist sexually-determined functionality of the ambience contrasts with the complexity of existential feelings, fears and longings associated with it – the possibility of closeness, physical fulfilment and love, but also of loneliness and emotional pain. In the interplay between authenticity and staging, Drechsel’s paintings takes female, usually pornographic, stereotypes, and undermines them by taking away their clarity.

Just as the photographic originals for her paintings are neither entirely staged nor documentary, the style of the painting changes depending on the moods and relationships being depicted, oscillating between hard surfaces and lines, colourful garments and pale flesh, identifiable furniture and half-seen interiors. These glimpses of erotic encounter leave as much to the viewer’s imagination as they offer in intimate detail.