William Klein will receive the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award at the 2012 Sony World Photography Awards.
The 83-year-old photographer will collect his award at a ceremony in London on 26 April, as a retrospective of his work goes on show at Somerset House.
The award begins something of an important year for Klein. He is the subject of a major Tate Modern exhibition in October 2012, where his works will be compared to those of his Japanese contemporary Daido Moriyama.
Taking as its central theme the cities of New York and Tokyo, “William Klein + Daido Moriyama” will explore both artists’ celebrated depictions of modern urban life.
Running alongside that, a solo exhibition of his work entitled “William Klein: Paintings Etc” will take place at his London gallery HackelBury Fine Art from September.
Along with Robert Frank, Klein is often credited as one of the founding fathers of modern American street photography.
Tate Modern curator Simon Baker said: "As his photographic practice shows, Klein has always been brilliant, exacting and uncompromising, with a unique and unmistakable critical vision of 20th century life.
"His Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award from the World Photography Organisation is recognition of a body of work of incredible diversity, depth and individuality."
Klein was trained in graphic design. He became a filmmaker and fashion photographer - a favourite at Vogue magazine for many years from 1955.
Photo: Still from William Klein's movie 'Who are you Polly Maggoo', 1966. © William Klein Courtesy HackelBury Fine Art, London
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