Photographer Edward Burtynsky has won a $20,000 contemporary art award in recognition of his globally acclaimed work. ((Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art))

Photographer Edward Burtynsky has won the $20,000 MOCCA Award in Contemporary Art from the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto.

Burtynsky has garnered worldwide acclaim for his large-format photography, including the series Oil, created by the Corcoran Gallery in Washington and currently on tour.

His award-winning collection of images of manufacturing processes and industrial activities has been shown around the world.

"Often cinematic in scale and always spectacular in pattern and detail, his pictures are as highly regarded for their formal and aesthetic qualities as they are for being powerful and even disturbing documents of the impact that these activities have upon the landscape, the ecology, upon our very selves and our surroundings,"  MOCCA said of his work.

Museum curator David Liss hailed Burtysnky for creating art that is relevant to our time.

"Ed Burtynsky's images provide timely insights into human behavior. They raise questions and issues that we avoid at our peril. In addition to his work, Ed has also made enormous contributions to his culture and to his community," Liss said in a press release on Tuesday.

Burtynsky will be presented with the award April 14 at  the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art.

The biennial award was established by MOCCA in 2007 to honour a Canadian active in the field of visual arts for innovation, accomplishment or contribution over time.