Print visionary Jean Milant founded Cirrus Editions and Cirrus Gallery, originally located in Hollywood, in January 1970. From that time, Cirrus stamped itself as a unique American art institution, functioning as a combination print workshop, publisher and art gallery. (Preceding similar operations in New York, Cirrus' home was a warehouse loft space with 3,000 square feet under skylights and surrounded by pure white walls!) Milant chose to give priority to the publication and exhibition of work by California artists. He saw a unique excitement and lifestyle, which promoted new ideas and visual forms. Cirrus has had over 250 exhibitions including painting, installations, performance, sculpture and photography. This diversity in offering continues today.
With a focus beyond Los Angeles, Cirrus was the very first L.A. gallery to participate in the European art fairs. The international response to Cirrus and the Los Angeles artists was tremendous.
In 1979, Cirrus moved the center of its operations to downtown Los Angeles on Alameda Street, once again pre-visioning the explosive art scene that soon was to come. Milant initiated a summer art festival called LAVA (for Los Angeles Visual Arts) that provided leadership in supporting the downtown galleries and alternative spaces such as Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art (LAICA), Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), and the Women's Building.
In 1986, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art acquired the archives of Cirrus Editions. LACMA has continued to collect the prints and related materials from Cirrus and in October 1995, the museum presented a major exhibition spanning the entire 25-year publishing history. In conjunction, they published an award winning catalogue raisonne.
Cirrus continues today as a print workshop, publisher and gallery with no restriction to medium. New projects include technology-enhanced work.