ABSTRACT. Discerning illusion from reality (truth) and reality from illusion – this is the crucial business of science and the essentialist arts. Brâncuși and Coandă have embraced worldviews and philosophies whereby the illusion-and-truth complex equation was addressed in one way or another. We start our research by reconsidering the significance of Henri Coandă (1886–1972) and his iron birds which were the essence and the joy of his entire life, leading him to study the laws (truths) of wind and flight. Coandă’s contribution to science and technology was crucial in the unfolding of man’s most fervent dream of flight. Also, Coandă, who embraced (as we shall show in the present reserarch) a philosophy very much akin to scientific romanticism, may have influenced Constantin Brâncuși (1876–1957) and the conception of the latter’s magic birds of paradise (Măiestre) which were, in turn, the essence and the joy of his entire life. In the fertile context of the deep (if often slow) revolutions triggered in the modern age by science and by art, the combined contributions of Coandă and Brâncuși brought a new understanding of the still mysterious dimension of human life and of reality in general. Here we focus on Coandă’s legacy, while Brâncuși’s legacy will be dealt with in detail in a future study of the quest through illusion. The References section contains directions of future research on Brâncuși. pp. 13–40

Keywords: flight; airplane; piercing through the future; iron bird; bird of paradise; scientific romanticism; cosmic illusion; living art

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University of Bucharest

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